Saturday, March 19, 2011
Rapid Reaction: BYU 89, Gonzaga 67
By Diamond Leung
DENVER -- BYU beat Gonzaga 89-64 to earn a spot in the Sweet 16 -- the first time the Cougars have gotten this far since 1981. They did it behind Jimmer Fredette's 34 points and six assists. Jackson Emery scored 16 points, and Noah Hartsock added 13. The Zags were led by Steven Gray and Elias Harris, who scored 18 points apiece. But with BYU making 14 of their 28 3-point attempts, there was no stopping the Cougars.
Turning point: Gonzaga briefly got the lead down to single digits, but Fredette’s seventh 3-pointer made it 72-55. Hartsock then hit another to push the lead to 20 with 8:17 left, leaving Fredette emotional headed into the timeout.
Key player: Fredette was held without a field goal for nearly the first nine minutes of the game, but he soon began to heat up. He finished 11-for-23 from the field, was perfect at the line and finished with seven 3-pointers.
Key stat: Fredette was 7-of-12 from beyond the arc, taking advantage of whatever defense the Zags were throwing at him, man-to-man or zone. The Zags ran different defenders at Fredette, and it was no use.
Miscellaneous: The Cougars were out-rebounded 36-27 by a bigger Zags team, but still managed to do enough to slow Gonzaga's frontline. Kyle Collinsworth played well and had six points and seven rebounds, and Hartsock was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field.
What’s next: BYU moves on to the Sweet 16 in New Orleans to face Florida, a team the Cougars beat last season in the first round of the NCAA tournament.