SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — BYU men's basketball coach Dave Rose was impressed with how his team overcame a poor night on offense to keep its winning streak alive.
Noah Hartsock made the winning shot from the baseline as time expired in double overtime, lifting No. 23 BYU to a dramatic 77-75 victory over South Florida on Friday night in the third round of the South Padre Invitational.
Jimmer Fredette scored 32 points — going 8-for-8 from the line — to help the Cougars improve to 7-0. Jackson Emery was 5-for-13 from 3-point range and had 20 points, and Hartsock added 10 points.
"I am just really proud of the guys," Rose said. "We didn't play our best offensively but that had a lot to do with South Florida's defense. We played the game at their pace, the game they wanted us to play so we're happy that we have ground out the win."
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and Jarrid Famous combined for 13 points to lead South Florida to a 28-23 lead at the break. The Bulls increased the lead to 10 points early in the second half, but BYU rallied.
"We're a good offensive team and we have been for a couple of years," Rose said. "I always thought if we could hit a shot or two we could get on a roll.
"Jack (Emery) hit a few good shots to get us back into the game. We have a lot of work to do but I am really proud of the guys for pulling out the win today."
Ron Anderson had eight points and 13 rebounds, Augustus Gilchrist scored 14 points and Fitzpatrick finished with 10 for South Florida (3-3). South Florida out-rebounded BYU 50-40.
The game was tied 61-all after regulation and 69-69 after the first overtime.
South Florida coach Stan Heath knew his team let a good opportunity slip away in the second half.
"It was a tough blow, that's a tough loss," Heath said. "We played our hearts out, we have nothing to be ashamed of and now it's just a case of how we are going to bounce back.
"We came into the game expecting to win. We're a Big East team, we've had success in the past two seasons and our guys felt we should have won. We just never got the job done."
BYU will face St. Mary's — which will become one of the Cougars' new conference opponents next season when they leave the Mountain West Conference for the West Coast Conference — in the South Padre tournament finals today at 6 p.m.
St. Mary's (6-0) blew past Texas Tech 88-68 in Friday's other semifinal matchup. Tim Williams had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead five Saint Mary's players in double figures, as the Gaels shot 71 percent from the field in the first half to open up a 47-23 lead.
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