For the second night in a row, BYU was the victim, but the Cougars were much better following Tuesday's 84-82 loss to Klub Polzela.
This time a 34-year-old veteran of the Yogoslavian Olympic team, Veljko Petranovic, championed the Slovenian cause. The 6-10 center scored 27 points, including a six-point play off his three-pointer followed by a technical foul.The rugged Petranovic floored Randy Reid on the play and coach Roger Reid was hit with a technical when he went on court to check the status of his son. Following these antics, the gyrating Petranovic gave his team a 74-70 lead with six minutes remaining in the game.
BYU, now 0-2 on its European five-game tour, led for most of the game, grabbing a 4-0 initial lead. That lead held for the first 15 minutes of the game. Cougar Russell Larson, who scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, had a key block of Petranovic's three-point attempt with 3:45 left in the first half. BYU's defense then forced a 30-second violation prior to halftime with the score knotted at 35.
BYU jumped to an early second half lead, 47-41, when Randy Reid and Shane Knight hit consecutive three-pointers. That was followed by a side-line inbound pass from Mark Durrant to Knight for a slam.
Kurt Christensen was heavily involved in the final seconds of the game. BYU lost its 80-79 advantage with 25 seconds remaining in the game when Kleman Zulelel, a 6-6, 19-year-old member of the Slovenian Junior National team, converted a pair of free throws.
"We played a better team, but we played better, too," said Coach Reid. "We weren't intimidated tonight and we forgot about fatigue."
Yesterday was a national holiday, but BYU rebounded from its opener. As the Cougars left the city of 300,000 Ljubljanans this morning, they traveled an hour away in this country of two million who are proud of the three-year freedom following a 10- day war.
On Wednesday the Cougar team travels to play at Kamnik against a team dominated by Slovenian Olympians.