March Madness: Jimmer Fredette Shines as BYU Cougars Grind It Out Past Wofford
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This game played out as most games do when one team is ultimately better than the other. Wofford kept it close for most of the game, but ultimately BYU pulled away.
Before people start crying about how it was only Wofford, just think back. You are probably the same people that said BYU would lose to Wofford because the Cougars are a one-man team.
First of all, I have to make one comment about how terrible the officiating was in this game on both sides of the court. It has been bad in every game I watched today, but this game seemed exceptionally bad.
That being said, BYU found a way to overcome serious foul trouble with an already shortened bench to move on to the next round. It was the kind of win that heartens me as the Cougars move on to the next game.
They were hustling for balls and really scrapping to get everything they could. This was another team effort, and as you look back at the whole game, there is no other way they would have won.
Chris Collinsworth's 11 rebounds and Logan Magnusson's seven made a huge difference in this game. You can also look at the 10 big points from Charles Abouo, who played limited minutes because of fouls (two of which were total garbage calls).
Maybe the biggest contribution that will get overlooked, as it usually does, was the work done by Jackson Emery. He played some amazing defense for the entire game. He only had two steals, but he stopped more drives by getting in front of his man than I can count.
We all know who the star is on this team, but Jackson has been the perfect complement to Jimmer Fredette for their entire careers.
Speaking of Jimmer, he had another stellar night despite a relatively slow first half. He put up another solid 32 points while also dishing seven assists, for those of you that think all he does is shoot.
Early on, it seemed as though they were almost avoiding going to Jimmer, which resulted in lower numbers than you might expect from him.
However, in true Jimmer form, he lit it up the second half with his amazing drives to the lane and a couple of beautiful threes. He did take a few ill-advised shots, but I will take a few of those with as many as he does make.
His greatest contribution was the seven assists, as he really did a lot to get his teammates involved. This will become even more vital if they are going to succeed in future games. While they will still not have the inside presence that Brandon Davies brought, they can make up for that by simply spreading the scoring around.
I wasn't so sure about how I would feel going into the second round, but watching the game today gave me hope that BYU can make a solid run.
Man, I love this time of year!
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