PROVO - The BYU Cougars, after a slow offensive start Friday in their season-opener at the Marriott Center, picked up the pace over the final 30 minutes and ran away from Fresno State for an 83-56 victory.
Jimmer Fredette led the Cougars in scoring with 24 points, followed by Noah Hartsock with 21 off the bench and Charles Abouo contributing 13.
The Cougars, clinging to a 21-20 lead midway through the first half, broke loose for a 24-6 run to finish the half leading 45-26.
The Bulldogs, coached by former BYU coach Steve Cleveland, cut the lead down to 14 at 51-37 early in the second half. The Cougars, however, erupted again for a 26-7 run to eliminate any doubt. With about five minutes remaining the Cougars extended their lead to 36 at 81-45 and finished the game from there with all starters on the bench.
The Cougars' next game is Wednesday when the Utah State Aggies, the team that handed BYU its first lost last season, visits the Marriott Center.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company