TCU 85 - 95 BYU
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Fredette's 45 points leads No. 14 BYU past TCU

Mar 12, 2010 - 6:42 AM By ARNIE STAPLETON AP Sports Writer

LAS VEGAS(AP) -- Jimmer Fredette's night wasn't perfect, even though he did score 45 points and Brigham Young broke the school's 60-year-old mark for wins in a season.

After all, the junior point guard missed one of his two dozen free throws.

"I'm still upset about that one, to be honest with you," Fredette said with a smirk after leading the 14th-ranked Cougars past TCU 95-85 in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament Thursday night.

"I'll think about it tonight and try to correct that. Hopefully, I'll make all of them next time."

The second-seeded Cougars (29-4) will face third-seeded UNLV in the semifinals Friday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Fredette, a junior from Glen Falls, N.Y., set tournament records with his 45 points and 23-of-24 performance from the line.

Utah's Lou Kelly held the tournament record with a 35-point performance against New Mexico in 2002, but it was Fredette's demolition of Ricky Morgan's old marks of 18 foul conversions in 19 attempts for UNLV against Wyoming in 2005 that was most impressive.

Teammate Jackson Emery said he'd never witnessed such an exhibition from the stripe, either in practice or competition.

"I've seen Shaq get fouled a lot, but he hasn't made as many as Jimmer has," Emery said. "It's great. Jimmer is a terrific free throw shooter. It's almost automatic when you foul him."

The Cougars needed every bit of Fredette's special night because TCU played much better than it had in losing at home to BYU by 30 points five nights earlier. The seventh-seeded Horned Frogs (13-19) led 40-39 at halftime but couldn't stop Fredette, who scored 30 of his points after the break.

"Our kids competed," said TCU coach Jim Christian. "Obviously, in the second half Jimmer took over the game. He's a great player. It's difficult because we tried everything we could do. You trap him, the other guys, they hit so many timely shots as a team. It's hard to take out one guy, especially when he can pass the ball and the other guys can play."

Fredette shrugged off his record-breaking performance and his spectacular second half as "just being aggressive."

"I got to the foul line a lot, which was good," he said. "I knew I could make it from there."

About the only place he couldn't score from was beyond the arc, where he went 2 for 10. However, one of his 3s that did fall came after his four straight swishes from the stripe and put the Cougars ahead 59-51.

Just when it looked like BYU was finally going to cruise, TCU reserve Greg Hill replied with a three-point play followed by a four-point play, forcing a timeout with the Cougars clinging to a 59-58 lead with 12:26 remaining.

This time, the Cougars did break away - with Fredette leading the way, of course.

Double-teamed, Fredette dished out one of his six assists, finding an open Emery, who sank a 3-pointer that sparked a 12-2 run that gave BYU a 71-60 lead.

"They came out in their 1-3-1 zone," Emery said. "You have to be aggressive in that zone. When you get an open look, you have to drill it. Fortunately, Jimmer made a good pass. They tried to trap him. I was wide open in the corner."

Fredette, the league's leading scorer, capped the run with four more free throws, then added a bank shot and a fastbreak finger-roll to make it 75-63.

"He played a great game," TCU guard Keion Mitchem marveled. "We didn't have any answers."

Rather than trying to challenge his career high of 49 points, which he scored against Arizona on Dec. 28, Fredette dribbled out the final 20 seconds at halfcourt, giving a handshake and chest bump to Ronnie Moss, who led TCU with 22 points, just before the buzzer sounded.

BYU's previous record of 28 wins came in 1950-51.

Cougars starting guard Tyler Haws scored eight points but was limited to 15 minutes of playing time after getting struck in the face and poked in the eye on one play, resulting in a bloody nose and blurred vision.

"We got the bleeding in the nose stopped," Rose said. "Hopefully he'll be OK and ready to go tomorrow. We'll just have to see how he progresses."