For the second night in a row, BYU's men's basketball team won, this time defeating Litus, 95-88, on Friday.
The Cougars barely arrived in time for the game which was delayed, as they rode taxis instead of the usual bus and followed a road similar to vistas offered in Provo Canyon on the 45-minute drive. The overwhelming beauty of the countryside kept players in awe, starting again Friday morning, when the team had to duck a few times touring basketball-player-sized Postonja Cave, the third-largest in the world.When the Cougars did arrive in Litija they found one of the nicer basketball facilities and an opponent that featured two more unusual players. First, it was a 46- year-old player, Paule Potlanec, who is competing in his 28th consecutive year of basketball. Potlanec, who started and scored 10 points against BYU was a teammate of former Cougar player Kresimir Cosic, now the Deputy Ambassador to the USA (Z.D.A. in Slovenia) for the neighboring country of Croatia. Another surprise was Litus' player Janko Narat, a 6-6 forward who just finished his eligibility in the U.S. at Davidson University. Narat, a Slovenian, scored 21 against BYU.
The Cougars had their own surprise, Mark Durrant, who scored 19 points, 10 of which came in the first half, which saw BYU take a 51-45 halftime lead.
Litus took the lead four times in the game at 2-0, 5-4, 7-4 and for the last time at 73-72. Combinations of John Fish scoring on an out-of-bounds back door, a Kurt Christensen three-pointer, free throws from Randy Reid and a back-door slam dunk from Shane Knight put the Cougars back in command with five minutes remaining.
"The game and this week have been positive experiences for us," said BYU coach Roger Reid. "We played the tougher teams earlier, but more importantly, basketball has been the vehicle for us to have an educational experience and see things we would never have seen."
The Cougars, who compiled a 2-3 record in Slovenia, fly to Utah from Paris on Tuesday.