FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)—Jimmer-mania isn’t always a solo act for seventh-ranked BYU.
While Jimmer Fredette scored 23 points despite another tough shooting game, four other Cougars also scored in double figures in a 79-56 road victory Saturday in a sold-out arena filled with BYU fans and others just wanting to get a look at the nation’s leading scorer.
“I didn’t think I played very good. … I had some unforced errors, didn’t make some shots I’d normally make,” said Fredette, who was only 6-of-16 shooting overall, 3 of 9 on 3-pointers. “It doesn’t matter. We won the game, that’s what we came to do.”
After Garlon Green hit a 3-pointer to get TCU within 27-24, the Cougars (25-2, 11-1 Mountain West) took control with an 18-4 run over the final 6:09 of the first half. That started with 11 consecutive points scored by five different BYU players—none of them named Fredette, whose only point in that half-ending run came on a free throw in the final minute.
“We have a very good team,” Fredette said. “It’s hard to guard give guys.”
Especially when teams like TCU (10-18, 1-12) are double-teaming Fredette and sometimes post player Brandon Davies.
“We got a lot of help from a lot of guys,” Cougars coach Dave Rose said. “It was a good team win.”
Fredette, who also had six turnovers, was only four points below his season scoring average.
The highlight scorer was coming off a 7-of-19 shooting game in a win over Utah when he also had 23 points. He has scored at least 20 points in 12 consecutive games.
Stephen Rogers scored 15 points in 15 minutes for BYU. Davies and Jackson Emery scored 11 each and Noah Hartsock had 10.
J.R. Cadot had 17 points and nine rebounds for TCU, which has lost 10 consecutive games and 14 of 15. The Frogs have also lost 15 in a row against BYU, including all 14 games since Rose became the coach in 2005.
“We’ve got to fight discouragement,” third-year Frogs coach Jim Christian said. “It was a great environment. I look forward to the day it’s TCU, and it’s all purple.”
The Frogs had their first sellout since November 2004, with most of the crowd of 7,258 rooting for BYU. There were loud cheers when Fredette made shots, and oohs and aahs when he had other long jumpers rattle off the rim.
“It seems like the schedule we had this year, the arenas have been full,” Rose said. “I think our players have really embraced that. … It’s been a really great experience.”
This is the Cougars’ last trip through the Mountain West. With the football team going independent after this season, the basketball team is moving to the West Coast Conference.
It was the third-largest crowd ever at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, and the largest since a record 7,267 attended a loss to Kansas in December 2003. The Frogs averaged only 3,948 fans in their first 14 home games. Every road game BYU has played has drawn a crowd larger than the season average in the opposing arena.
“We felt like we were the underdogs,” TCU guard Hank Thorns said. “We just play through it. It’s tough, but we’re still fighting.”
Christian and the Frogs have had a miserable season. Leading scorer Ronnie Moss (15.7 points per game) is indefinitely suspended, and sat on the bench for the seventh straight game. TCU also played its 11th game since Sammy Yeager (9.3 ppg), the fourth-leading scorer, got kicked off the team.
Fredette got started with a pair of long 3s, one from the right wing and another from the left side. The second one put the Cougars up 26-16 with 9:55 left in the first half.
One of Fredette’s turnovers a minute later led to a layup by Cadot, sparking an 8-1 spurt capped by Green’s 3-pointer. Then came the half-ending run that put BYU up 45-28, and TCU never got closer in the second half.
The Cougars have been in the Top 10 five consecutive weeks, already surpassing the school record by one. They surely will extend that when the new poll comes out Monday.
“We’re a good team making a good run,” Fredette said. “But we can never get satisfied.”