FORT WORTH, Texas — BYU used the long ball to destroy TCU 79-56 Saturday before a packed house of mostly Cougar fans at Daniel-Mayer Coliseum.
The Cougars dumped in 11 shots from beyond the arc, three each from All-American guard Jimmer Fredette and backup forward Stephen Rogers. Fredette finished with 23 points and Rogers 15 to lead the Cougars.
Afterwards, TCU coach Dave Christian teased Rogers outside the locker room, giving him a slight slug to the shoulder.
"We struggle to hit five 3-pointers for the game and you hit three in a row. What's up with that?" Christian asked.
The win lifted the Cougars to 25-2 overall and 11-1 in the MWC heading into Wednesday's rematch with Colorado State in Provo. BYU's victory extended the Cougars' win streak to 10 wins in the last 11 games.
"Anytime you can get guys off the bench scoring, it's a good thing," said Fredette, who had six turnovers and just two assists. The Cougars outshot TCU 44 to 26 percent from long range.
Fredette admitted he struggled in the game. "But it didn't matter because we won and other guys stepped up and made plays," he said.
"He's human," said Rogers. "With all the pressure he gets and all he's gone through, he's handled it better than anybody."
The Cougars knocked down 9-of-15 shots from beyond the arc in the first half to etch out a 45-28 halftime lead. Those nine treys came from six different players. TCU trailed 23-13 before making a small run and cut the deficit to 26-21 with just over seven minutes to go in the first half.
The Cougars then exploded and never were threatened again. "We kind of imposed our will on them," said Fredette.
"This was a very big win for us," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "Any time you come on the road and get a win, it is a good win."
BYU rattled off a 14-2 run to lead 41-26 with just over a minute left before intermission. In that span, Rogers knocked down two 3-point shots to help the cause. Charles Abouo and Logan Magnusson also hit treys in the final four minutes of the first half.
"I try to contribute any way I can and when coaches ask me to enter the game," Rogers said. "The coaches are very supportive every time I come in."
Fredette had his 12th point of the game just after the break on a long 3-pointer. At that stage of the game, he was 4-of-9 from the field. He missed on a drive and air-balled his next long shot to the delight of TCU fans.
Fredette drew more boos shortly after when he caught J.R. Cabot in the air and leaned into him and drew the foul for a 3-shot free throw. After burying the triple from the line, the Cougars went up 58-37 with just over 12 minutes to play in the game. That gave Fredette his 17th point of the afternoon.
The Cougar star admitted it wasn't his afternoon, even if BYU fans in the arena screamed and applauded his every shot.
"Not great," Fredette said of his performance. "I didn't think I played very well today but it didn't matter. We got a good win and that's what we came down here to do. I made some unforced errors. I shot the ball OK but not great."
Fredette said he got good looks but didn't make them. "There were some in and outs and that happens."
Fredette got caught often inside the defense, couldn't finish and when he lost the ball at the 11:10 mark inside the key, Rose elected to sit him down.
When Fredette returned with seven minutes to play, he lost his dribble on the sidelines, recovered and completed a nifty reverse layin for his 19th point, piling on to BYU's big lead.
"I thought Jimmer had a good game," said Rose. "They were not only double-teaming Jimmer but Brandon Davies in the post. It was a back-breaker to have Steven hit those shots.
"We were really aggressive from start to finish, it was a good win. It's a tribute to this team that we had this many fans come out and this was our last time through here."
Christian said his Frogs played hard. "Our biggest problem is we can't shoot the ball," said the TCU coach.
"If you told me before the game we'd have only eight turnovers and take 65 shots, I'd take it. We'll, we made just 24 of them."