PROVO — BYU freshman swingman Lee Cummard was a young man of few words following the Cougars' 80-67 home victory over Wyoming on Wednesday night — but one of many good deeds.

In 27 minutes on the Marriott Center floor, Cummard posted career highs in points (13), field goals (five, on eight attempts), assists (four) and steals (three). The latter two were team highs for the Cougars against the Cowboys.

Besides a pair each of dunks, rebounds and turnovers, the only other stat of note for the 6-foot-6 starter from Mesa, Ariz., was his three missed shots — all 3-pointers.

But that easily can be overlooked, given the early contributions Cummard made to jump-start the Cougars through the first half and early in the second.

He scored nine of BYU's first 16 points, including a pair of crowd-pumping fast-break plays off steals — one a layup while being fouled for a three-point play and the other his second of three rousing dunks in the game.

"Lee Cummard did a great job coming out early," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "We were aggressive offensively early, and he got a couple of steals and a couple of layups to get us going."

It didn't stop there. A banking jumper gave BYU a 36-24 lead 75 seconds before halftime, while his third jam of the game — on another fast break, of course — gave the transition-happy Cougars the lead for good at 40-38, 90 seconds into the second half.

When he signed with the Cougars in 2004, he was considered by some as the top prep shooting guard in the West. Expectations were fanned even more when Cummard started two preseason exhibition games and averaged 15.5 points.

Wednesday's outing then served as his coming-out party for the Cougars this season.

With his previous career high in points being nine in games against Southern Utah, Lamar, Weber State and UNLV, Cummard finally broke into double-figure scoring for the first time in his short college career.

More importantly, it means that razzing phone calls from his brothers wondering when he'll break into double digits finally will cease.

And the three-dunk performance easily atones for a missed dunk in a home exhibition game to start the season — something that still has Cummard smarting. "I kinda wanted to redeem myself for the fans," he said.

That single-sentence, to-the-point reply was typical of Cummard's post-game responses.

On the dunks: "I was just trying to play my game."

And the scoring: "The ball bounced my way tonight."

And the steals: "I was just playing our (defensive) principles."

For Cummard, actions did speak louder than words.


E-mail: taylor@desnews.com