Thursday, January 27, 2011
Rapid Reaction: BYU 71, SDSU 58
By Diamond Leung
PROVO, Utah -- A few quick thoughts after BYU pulled away from San Diego State for a 71-58 win to take first place in the Mountain West.
Jimmer Fredette lived up to the hype. Considering the build-up to this game, it wasn't easy to do, but he did it. He scored 43 points off the dribble, on seemingly impossible 3-pointers and whenever he wanted. Finishing 14-of-24 from the field, Fredette was mobbed after the game as students stormed the court. He needed an officer to escort him off of it.
Kawhi Leonard played very well under the circumstances, as he was under the weather, vomited twice before the game and received an IV. He started, but appeared tired at times. Still, he had a Leonard-like night with 22 points and 15 rebounds. The six turnovers hurt, but the Aztecs forward should go home with his head held high.
BYU's Brandon Davies needed to have a nice game to help Fredette carry the load, and the 6-foot-9 sophomore came through. He scored 14 points, including eight early points in the first half to help take some pressure off. He also did a nice job on defense keeping the San Diego State frontcourt in check. Consider that Malcolm Thomas and Billy White scored 16 points combined. Combine that with five blocked shots from James Anderson, and the big men really stepped up to limit the Aztecs down low.
The atmosphere was incredible. Some 22,000 screaming BYU fans roared at every basket, students brought homemade signs and ran for their seats as early as two hours before the game. The crowd included Fredette's family members as well. The Mountain West was able to put its best foot forward on this night.