Jimmer Fredette scored 45 points against TCU, becoming the first-ever Cougar to top the 40-point mark twice. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
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LAS -- In the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament, junior Jimmer Fredette scored 23 of his 45 points from the free throw line as BYU advanced with a 95-85 win over TCU on Thursday.
With the win, BYU improves to 29-4, the most wins in a season by any Cougar team, breaking the 1950-51 squad’s record of 28 wins.
Fredette became the first Cougar ever to score more than 40 points twice in a career after setting the all-time school record with 49 points earlier this season at Arizona. The junior’s 45 points against the Horned Frogs is the third-most on the BYU record books and an MWC Tournament record.
Fredette finished 23-of-24 from the charity stripe overall, also school and MWC Tournament records, while converting on his last 21 attempts, all in the second half.
The point guard also had six assists and four rebounds, playing 38 minutes.
"You give Jimmer a little more freedom because of his ability to create so much attention from the opposing team," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "If they're going to guard him one on one, we're spread out, it's hard. If they run another guy at him, then Jimmer needs to make the play and find the open guy."
The Cougars trailed TCU at halftime, 40-39, after Ronnie Moss scored on a floater right before the halftime buzzer.
But Fredette came alive, scoring 30 points in the half. With the Cougars up 67-60 with 10:38 left in the game, the junior scored eight-straight points on four free throws and then back-to-back baskets. Fredette nailed a jumper, then scored on a fast break layup after Jackson Emery stole the ball on an acrobatic leap.
Michael Loyd, Jr., converted on a reverse layup and Emery hit another jumpshot to give BYU its biggest lead of the game at 78-65 with 7:22 left.
"We needed all 95 points," Rose said. "Sometimes you can beat a team because you can lock them down. That wasn't the case tonight. We couldn't get them stopped, so we needed the score, so we found a way to win. This team has done that a lot, found a way to win."
Emery scored 15 points, shooting 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, and added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
BYU will next play the winner of UNLV and Utah, tipping off at 8:30 pm PST. The game will be televised live on CBS College Sports.
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