Fredette scores 43, BYU knocks off SDSUJan 27, 2011 - 7:12 AM Provo, UT (Sports Network) - In what may have been the biggest regular-season game in his conference's history, Jimmer Fredette showed why he's on the short list for best players in the country.
In fact, he might top it.
Fredette poured in 43 points and No. 9 BYU earned its 10th straight win Wednesday with a 71-58 victory over fourth-ranked and previously unbeaten San Diego State.
Brandon Davies added 14 points in the win and the Cougars (20-1, 6-0 Mountain West Conference) remained undefeated since taking their only loss of the season December 18 to UCLA.
"We're fortunate that we made a few more plays than they did," said BYU head coach Dave Rose.
Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points with 15 rebounds to lead the Aztecs (20-1, 5-1) and Malcolm Thomas added 10 points.
San Diego State was in the midst of the best start in school history, entering the game as one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in the country, No. 1 Ohio State being the other.
But the Aztecs had yet to face Fredette, the 6-foot-2 senior who leads the nation in scoring.
Fredette entered the game averaging 26.7 points per game -- and he upped that number while taking control of the game by shooting 14-of-24 from the field, including 5-of-8 from three-point range.
"Jimmer has a relentless mind set toward scoring the ball, which you might think everyone has. But his is unique," said Rose.
"But he's also playing with guys that want to get the best shot possible on every possession and I think you can see that when Jimmer's got a hot hand and is rolling pretty good that his teammates really look for him."
It was the fifth time Fredette scored 40 or more points in his career. He had 20 points in the first half, but the Cougars trailed 31-30 heading into the locker room.
The game was tight until a short 5-0 burst separated BYU from the Aztecs.
Fredette sparked the run with a three-pointer, and Jackson Emery threw down a fast break dunk to make it 52-46 with less than 12 minutes remaining -- until then, the largest lead of the game by any team.
San Diego State was never closer than four the rest of the way. After James Rahon got the Aztecs within 56-52, they went scoreless for nearly four minutes while BYU took control.
Fredette made seven straight free throws for a 13-point lead inside the 2:00 mark -- the last three coming after he was fouled on a shot beyond the arc.
"As good a player as I have ever coached against," said Aztecs head coach Steve Fisher.
BYU extended its lead in the all-time series to 47-22...The loss snapped San Diego State's 10-game winning streak against Mountain West opponents.
- SAN DIEGO STATE: 58
Jan 27 12:05 AM
- SAN DIEGO STATE: 31
Jan 26 10:52 PM
- SAN DIEGO STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 26 10:15 PM
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