Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
PROVO — Something happened to San Diego State's stately perch as an undefeated basketball team Wednesday night in the Marriott Center.
Trite and trendy as it sounds, the Aztecs got Jimmered.
Boy, did they ever get Jimmered. It's a new urban legend dictionary verb. Folks are starting to use it coast to coast. It means a guy just scored on you in via distance, as in different zip code. Or in a torrential down pour.
The kid's 43-point performance prompted the NBA's Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant to tweet: "Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in the world."
ESPN's SportsCenter saluted. CBS College Sports network wanted an encore.
"He's the best scorer in the world," answered Fredette, throwing up a cloak of humility at Durant, the College Player in 2006 of the Year from Texas.
No. 9 BYU defeated No. 4 SDSU 71-58, riding the back of their scoring machine — the kid with the baby face and dagger shot.
The San Diego State Aztecs will be celebrating his departure. Fredette scorched Steve Fisher's team like a match in a gas can. Again.
Fredette's points came in every fashion imaginable. From distance. From the line. From inside the paint.
In the past three Aztec games, Fredette has scored 33, 26 and 43. That's an average of 34 points per game. And BYU won.
That is simply insane. SDSU plays defense, manly defense.
In Wednesday's monumental showdown between the Cougars and Aztecs, Fredette scored 1.1 points a minute.
The kid turned it on the Aztecs like a faucet.
It was nuts.
BYU's looked stagnant offensively through the 10-minute mark of the first half. Jackson Emery and Noah Hartsock kept misfiring. Only Fredette and Brandon Davies could score. Emery and Hartsock would end the first half 1 for 7 from the field. Nervous. Off.
It was in this drought Dave Rose turned to his star. A guy who could go one on five if he had to. It was time to challenge the Aztecs.
Fredette started attacking D.J. Gay off the dribble, setting him up with crossover moves. He drove through switches, got past Gay and slipped past Malcolm Thomas for scores inside he paint.
Incredibly, Fredette scored 15 of BYU's final points of the first half and gave the Cougars a 30-28 lead until Kawhi Leonard hit a trey in the closing seconds to give the Aztecs a 31-30 halftime lead.
"I felt comfortable with my shot, kept being aggressive and my teammates worked to get me open," said Fredette.
Win or lose the game at that point, like the guys on ESPN crowed earlier in the day, it was all about Fredette. It became Fredette. At the half, he'd just registered 20 on the one of the NCAA's top defenses.
Fredette left the court breathing hard, his heart pumping and his mouth gasping for air. He had an ugly 10-inch scratch across his shoulder and arm where Gay tried to stop him.
And it wasn't over. The second stanza began.
Fredette penetrated and finished. He drove and pulled up. He paddled the ball like a ping-pong ball drill from hand to hand and got off shots.
It was this show some 20-plus NBA scouts had come to review. It became the show.
Fredette opened the second half scoring nine points in the first five minutes.
He got to 34 points eight minutes into the second half. It was only the second time he'd produced more than 30 points in the Marriott Center in his career.
Usually, the kid saves scoring barrages for the road.
He hit a floater in the lane, came off a screen and hit a three. He hit a double-clutcher while hanging in the air from the top of the key.
In crunch time, Fredette attacked the Aztec defense off a Hartsock screen and got hacked with 3:30 to play. He buried the free throws to put the Cougars up 62-54. Points 35 and 36.
Next time down the floor, he attacked again. Same results, foul and charity tosses. Points 37 and 38. The Cougars led 64-54 with 2:55 to play.
The Jimmer Show.
The game was over, all except the clock.
The Cougars got a stop. BYU started to run clock. Assistant coach Dave Rice called for the high screen. SDSU knew the play. Had a week to prepare. Fredette came off Hartsock and got off a 3-point try which drew a foul from Thomas — three charities to Fredette.
Snap, crackle, pop. Fredette got points 39, 40, 41 from the line. Candy from a kid. BYU led 67-54.
A sea of white in the Marriott Center started the chant: "You got Jimmered, You got Jimmered."
The All-American wasn't done.
Fredette hit a floater with 40 seconds left. Points 42 and 43.
The Jimmer Show.
Down went No. 4 SDSU in what they're calling the biggest game in the history of the Marriott Center and the Mountain West Confernce.
The score? BYU 71, SDSU 58, a 13-point win over what was one of only two undefeated teams in the country.
On the night, Fredette finished with 43 on 14 of 24 shooting against a Fisher team that had been the Iron Curtain through 20 straight games. He made 5 of 8 shots from beyond the arc, 10 of 11 from the line, and four rebounds.
Fredette had no assists and four turnovers.
Fans stormed the floor. Fredette left the hardwood with police running interference, his smile as wide as University Avenue; his 20-1 team basking in Fredette's bright glow.
He came. He shot. He scored.
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