The BYU basketball team hopes to wrap up its "home-for-the-holidays" stretch of its preseason schedule with a sixth consecutive victory as the Cougars play host Tuesday night to the Western Washington University Vikings.

With the Cougars facing an NAIA opponent in the visiting Vikings and many fans either out of town or with a conflicting holiday itinerary, chances are good that there will be a much-less-than-capacity crowd at the Marriott Center for the 7:30 p.m contest.But even the most meager of Marriott Center audiences will likely be the largest to watch WWU this season. The Vikings have played before an average game attendance of 667 this year - including a season-tops 1,465 at WWU's season-opening homecourt triumph over Trinity Western of British Columbia.

But quicker than one can say "cupcake," the Vikings bring more than just an 8-1 overall record into Tuesday's contest against the Cougars:

- WWU is shooting a school-record 52.5 percent from the field, with its top eight players all above 50 percent. By comparison, opponents have averaged just 39.2 percent.

View Comments

- The Vikings are scoring at a 97-points-per-game clip, with five players averaging in double figures. Leading the list is Dwayne Kirkley, a 6-foot senior guard whose 22.7-point average includes 30-plus points in three of WWU's previous five games. Joel Duchesne, the 6-foot-5 senior sixth man, is second with a 17.9-point average. Rounding out the Vikings' double-digit squad are 6-9 junior Harold Doyal (13.8 points per game), 6-8 junior Brett Lundeen (11.4) and 6-2 senior Jeff Dick (11.0).

- Western Washington has only been behind 19 of the 360 minutes in its nine games so far this season.

At home since Dec. 10, BYU has reeled off five consecutive victories against the likes of Nicholls State, Oklahoma Baptist, Utah State, Texas Tech and Weber State. The narrowest margin was a 78-76 win against Oklahoma Baptist, another NAIA school.

The BYU-WWU contest is the Cougars' final preseason tuneup before beginning Western Athletic Conference play next week. BYU starts with a trio of WAC road games, against New Mexico, Texas-El Paso and Utah.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.