SALT LAKE CITY — The Arizona Wildcats are glad they've seen the last of BYU guard Jimmer Fredette.
After scoring a school-record 49 points in BYU's blowout win over Arizona in Tucson last December, Fredette burned the Wildcats for 33 points Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena in the Cougars' 87-65 win.
"I don't know if it's anything against Arizona, but it just happened to be another good night and we were fortunate to come out with another big win," Fredette said.
Twenty of Fredette's points came in the first half. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and dished out three assists.
"We knew they were going to come out and be ready to play, and so we needed to exceed their energy, and we did that," Fredette said.
The No. 18 Cougars are now 10-0, while Arizona drops to 8-2. Next up for BYU is another Pac-10 foe when the Cougars play UCLA next Saturday at the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim, Calif.
Even though Fredette had another masterful game, BYU's win was far from a Fredette-only show.
"This was as good of team win as I think maybe we've had this season," BYU coach Dave Rose said.
Freshman guard Kyle Collinsworth scored 12 points — eight in the second half — and sophomore center Brandon Davies scored 11 in only 13 minutes. The supporting points, however, don't really account for the value BYU's reserves had in keeping loose balls alive and in helping the Cougars out rebound (38-34) an Arizona team that entered the contest besting opponents by more than 12 boards per game. The Cougars also had seven blocks to one for Arizona.
"We all work hard, we're all in it together and we all help each other out," Davies said.
What really makes BYU's supporting-cast effort impressive from Saturday's win is that it came with starting forward Chris Collinsworth still out with an injured ankle and the fact that junior starter Noah Hartsock missed the final 33 minutes after taking a hard hit to his mouth while fighting for a rebound.
Combine that with early foul trouble suffered by defensive leader Jackson Emery and Davies, and BYU's reserves (Stephen Rogers, James Anderson and Logan Magnusson) really stepped up when needed most.
"Our bench did a great job," Fredette said. "They all did what we expected them to do, come in and give us a lift."
But still, Fredette got the whole thing kick started when he came out and drilled his first two shots — a pull up jumper and a long 3-pointer — to give BYU a 5-0 lead before fans had even settled into their seats.
"He made some tough shots. They had him corralled pretty good. Plus that gave us a lot of confidence, so it was a great start," Rose said.
After a Davies' hook and a layup by Fredette, the Cougars were up 12-4. Arizona closed to within 14-10 on a big-time alley-oop dunk by power forward Derrick Williams.
The next six minutes, however, belonged to BYU as the Cougars scored 14 straight points to march out to a 28-10 lead. All five Cougars scored in the run.
"We got so many contributions from so many people," Rose said.
Arizona finally ended the streak when Kevin Parrom hit a 3-pointer up top, which also started a 7-0 run by the Wildcats. The Cougars' 11-point lead was looking a bit shaky with Davies and Emery on the bench in foul trouble, and Hartsock in the locker room.
But instead of just surviving, the Cougars went back on attack with Fredette in charge. When he hit a high banker off the glass and popped in four straight free throws, Fredette had 20 points at the break and BYU led 44-25.
"Today was just another example of how well he can play offensively," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "He makes everything easier for his team and we just had no answer for him today."
The Cougars opened up a 23-point lead early in the second half when Kyle Collinsworth scored two quick buckets, but Arizona shot its way back to within 13 when zone-breaker Lamont Jones warmed up to score 20 second-half points.
But when Davies banked in two and then followed with a 2-and-1 on a windmill dunk, the Cougars were back in charge. Two free throws by Emery and another bomb by Fredette put the Cougars comfortably back ahead by 20 and they coasted from there, leading by 24 at one point.
"We just kept building a lead, and then we were able to hold it in the second half," Kyle Collinsworth said.31 comments on this story
One key in BYU shutting down Arizona's high-powered offense to 35 percent shooting and holding Williams (averaging 22 points per game) to 13 points, and only three points after intermission, was the Cougars' active two-three zone that Rose switched to midway through the first half.
"I thought we could play some zone tonight. They've got some really good 3-point shooters, so I didn't think we could play as much as we did. But our guys were really active and we had our hands deflecting passes and I think it got them a little bit passive," Rose said.