(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
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On March 18, 2010, BYU men’s basketball ended 17 years of frustration as the Cougars defeated Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 99-92 in double-overtime. The win marked BYU’s first NCAA Tournament victory since 1993.
Jimmer Fredette led the way with 37 points, which tied a BYU NCAA Tournament for most points in a game, while Mike Loyd, Jr., added a career-high 26 points. The 63 combined points is the most by two Cougars in an NCAA tournament game in BYU history and only the second time two Cougars have scored at least 20 points in the same NCAA tourney contest.
Fredette and Loyd scored 16 of BYU’s 18 points in the second overtime to finally pull the Cougars ahead for good. Loyd shot the Cougars ahead with a quick trey to begin the second overtime, followed by a free throw after Fredette sank two of his own from the line.
Fredette stroked a three-pointer from the top of the key to put BYU (30-5) ahead 90-83 with 2:42 left, then hit another from long distance to ultimately stretch the lead out of reach of the Gators (21-13).
“Those two big threes he hit late, we’ve seen that all year long,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose, who claimed his first NCAA tournament win as head coach. “He’s a really versatile guy and hard to stop from scoring. You never really expect him to miss, especially when he gets to the rim.”
The junior point guard scored his 37 points on 13-of-26 shooting from the field, including 3-of-8 from three and 8-of-10 from the free throw line for his eighth game of the season with 30 or more points. Fredette's NCAA effort matched that of former BYU All-American Danny Ainge, who scored 37 points in a 1981 second-round win over UCLA.
Loyd came through for BYU time and time again, including scoring all six of BYU’s points in the first overtime. He scored a career-high 26 points on 7-of-10 shooting with three treys and a career-best 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. Loyd also had four steals, tying his career high.
“He was unbelievable,” said Rose. “He played on attack. Not only offensively, but he was really disruptive defensively and gave us a chance by holding down [Florida’s Erving] Walker and [Kenny] Boynton, two really, really good guards.”
Jackson Emery, who added eight points and a team-high seven rebounds, knocked down a long three from the top of the key to bring BYU within one, 74-73, with 1:26 to go in regulation. Tyler Haws added 10 points and extended his streak of consecutive free throws without a miss to 42, a new BYU record.
After Florida’s Vernon Macklin made 1-of-2 free throws, Fredette drove to the left and scooped in the game-tying layup, sending the contest into overtime after Chandler Parsons missed a turnaround at the buzzer.
Behind by four, BYU failed to score in the first overtime until Loyd took over. The sophomore guard used a speedy spin move to singlehandedly bring BYU back, scoring on a driving layup to tie the Gators at 81-81 for the final points of the initial extra session.
Loyd also keyed a run in the first half, giving BYU the lead after the Cougars were down by seven midway through the first period. Loyd outscored Florida 10-0 by himself in a span of less than two minutes, giving BYU a 31-28 lead. In all, BYU held Florida to one field goal over the last seven minutes of the first half, going into the break with a 35-33 lead.
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