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Jimmer Scores 52 to Sail By Ainge, Lobos

11 March 2011 Brett Richins 8 Comments

Jimmer blows up in Sin City

Words can’t describe what folks just witnessed in the Thomas and Mack.

What happened in Vegas tonight won’t be staying in Vegas.

Jimmer Fredette scored a career high 52 points, passed Danny Ainge as the all-time leading scorer in BYU history and single-handedly led the Cougars into the championship game of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

It took three tries but the New Mexico Lobos finally got Jimmered 87-76.

Fredette’s 52 points was the most points scored by a BYU player in a single game, it also ties the most points scored in a college game this season.

The victory pushes BYU to 30-3 on the season, tying the school record for the most wins in a season, a record set just last year. It also breaks a four-game losing streak to the Lobos stretching back to last season.

Those present in the Thomas & Mack Center were witnesses to one of the greatest performances by a special, once in a generation player. If there was any doubt as to who the national player of the year is, there is none tonight. Fredette put an exclamation mark on one of the most celebrated season performances in college basketball in quite some time.

Friday’s win should assure BYU a top four seed in the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens on Saturday. A victory in the championship game could garner the Cougars a second seed in the Big Dance.

Jimmer on finally beating the Lobos:

“You know, it was just a great night. It was a fun matchup to be against them. They’ve had our number for the past four games. Sometimes teams do that. We were just looking forward to playing them again.

We knew that we could play better than what we did in Provo. Our minds weren’t quite right and everything. But we felt that if we gave a good effort tonight, we would have a chance to win. That’s kind of what happened.

So it’s very satisfying to win and to move forward.”

Fredette on getting ready for a third game in three days after playing 40 minutes the last two games:

“We have ice on right now. You see that. Just get therapy and rest and relax and try to get as many fluids as you can in you and eat right, get a good night’s sleep. Come back tomorrow night and do it again.

No matter who we play, it’s going to be a tough game. We realize that. We’re in the championship and we’re excited. So I think adrenaline will keep both teams very energized. Hopefully that won’t be an issue.”

Dave Rose on playing Jimmer for the full 40 minutes:

“We’ve kind of negotiated between playing a lot more zone defense and putting Jimmer in a position to where maybe he can rest a little bit defensively, not chasing guys around.

It looked like the last three or four games in our man, one of the, you know, tactics of the other team was whoever Jimmer was guarding, he was having to chase him off of all the screens, everywhere he was going. Our coaching staff, they’re terrific. They’re the best guys you could possibly work with. I thought our game plan was good tonight.

We kind of flipped the two top guys, Jackson and Jimmer, because Dairese likes to come off on that right side. We had him coming into Jackson who did a terrific job on top of that zone.

I just thought that Jimmer would have been a little upset if I would have taken him out tonight, so we waited till the end.”

Rose on Jimmer surpassing Danny Ainge:

“It’s really hard to imagine where he was, like you said, to start the season, for him to actually break the record. I mean, Jimmer deserves it. Jimmer has played terrific all year long. He made a big decision to return to campus and forego the NBA draft. I think his preparation in the summer was probably unmatched.

How consistent he’s been throughout this season, he deserves all the good things that have happened to him because he’s worked really hard for it.”

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  • Jared said:

    I remember at the beginning of the season reading somewhere that Jimmer would need to average something like 27 points a game this year to break Danny Ainge’s scoring record. I remember thinking at the time – wow, there’s no way he will get there. And, here he is! Think about it – he’s had some off shooting nights, sure – but he gets it done EVERY game all season long. Can you even remember a single game where he scored less than 20 points this season? I can’t. It may have happened, but I don’t remember it. He’s been amazing.

    How great to finally beat the lobos. I believe UNM has benefitted from getting the Cougars at a good time in the previous two meetings (not to mention their lights out shooting that only seems to come against BYU). Good to get that redemption and finally set some thing straight against that team. Great win tonight!

  • Spencer said:

    Jimmer is unreal. He tried many times to set up his teammates in this game but the majority of the time they were failing to convert so between him feeling it and the rest of the team struggling he did what was necessary and took our team on his shoulders then we rode him to victory! I still kinda think that if Gary doesn’t get injured we most likely lose this game but no excuse for them. We are Davies-less and we proved to be the better team tonight. Go cougars!!!

  • Gayle said:

    Jared, I remember thinking the same thing at the beginning of the season. His lowest scoring game was against Creighton I think. He only had 13 points. I am so glad they beat UNM. I’m sure their fans would trade the previous two wins to have a win tonight and a healthy Gary.

  • Martin said:

    AMAZING!! I don’t know what else to say.

    Oh yeah… REVENGE!! So long Lobos!!

  • NM said:

  • CR said:

    As of right now, all of our final games against MWC teams have been wins. Let’s close it out with another W against SDSU to complete the sweep of the conference and go out with a bang!

  • Seasider said:

    A lot of fans were hoping BYU would get CSU instead of UNM in the semi-final game but I wanted us to get the Lobos again because without beating them, people would always look back at this season and say “Yeah good season but New Mexico had your number.” By getting that monkey off their back, BYU is now a more rejuvenated team with confidence going into the SDSU game.

  • Ralph j said:

    Good point about NM vs CSU. As a confidence booster, this turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. Looking forward to the title game I couldn’t decide who I wanted to play more, UNLV or SDSU. I’d love to see Jimmer pile another dump truck load of points on Tre’vons head. At some point, either he’s got to get to the point where he’s so embarrassed that he finally just shuts up or the media will finally realize he’s just full of gas and not newsworthy.

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