The BYU Cougars shot themselves right out of a chance for a spot in the Elite Eight.
It wasn't really BYU's cold first-half shooting or even colder second-half shooting that really did the Cougars in Thursday against Florida, rather it was the cold start to overtime that put the dagger into BYU's season.
In overtime, the Cougars hit only 1 of 5 to open the extra session while the Gators hit 5-of-7. Jimmer Fredette, who scored 32 points, missed his final two shots in regulation and first two in overtime. He also had two quick turnovers in the extra period.
For the game BYU hit only 35 percent from the floor and was 10 of 37 from 3-point range. In the second half the Cougars shot 30 percent. Even though Fredette scored 22 second-half points, he made only 11 of 29 shots for the game, only 3 of 15 from deep and had six costly turnovers.
Florida, on the other hand, shot 54 percent in the first half, but only 37 percent in the second half to finish the game at 48 percent. The Gators allowed BYU to get away with its poor shooting by hitting only 2 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half.
Florida started the game hitting 8 of 9 shots to open the game, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range to open up a 10-point lead, and the Cougars easily could have been run out of the gym. BYU could have been a little discouraged that Fredette missed his first six shots and didn’t score until there was 6:16 left in the half.
Still, the Cougars stayed within striking distance behind the efforts of Fredette's supporting cast. Jackson Emery drilled his first three 3-point shots before heading to the bench with two quick fouls. Stephen Rogers came in and hit two more 3-pointers.
When Fredette finally scored at the rim and finished the half with 10 points the Cougars went to the break tied 36-36.
The Gators also failed to take advantage of their size and were outrebounded in the first half 19-17 and 7-3 on the offensive glass. Kyle Collinsworth had six boards at the break and Noah Hartsock had five.
Initially the Gators burned BYU from deep, but falling in love with the outside shot eventually hurt them. When the Cougars switched from a zone to a man defense, the Gators missed seven straight 3-pointers. The Gators also were only 1 of 6 from the line in the first half.
The key first-half stat, perhaps, came in the turnover department. The Gators turned the ball over 10 times in the first 20 minutes and BYU scored eight points off those turnovers.
The Cougars put themselves behind the 8-ball early in the second half by opening the final 20 minutes with a 1-of-10 shooting stretch. Florida wasn't much better, and the Cougars stayed with the Gators by making 9 of 11 free throws.10 comments on this story
Even though the Cougars held their own on the boards — 42 rebounds to Florida's 45 and a 12-10 offensive board advantage — they lost the rebound that counted most. Florida missed a tough 3-pointer late in regulation and grabbed the rebound, preventing BYU from getting the ball for the final shot in regulation that could have won the game.
Collinsworth had a huge game on the glass with a career-high 15 rebounds. Florida's Alex Tyus was even bigger with 17 boards.
The Gators' balance also hurt BYU, with four players scoring in double figures. Emery, after opening the game with nine quick points went scoreless the next 38 minutes. Hartsock and Charles Abouo combined to make only 5 of 18 shots.