Thursday, February 18, 2010
Fredette's 36 Points Lift BYU; Texas Irrelevant; Purdue Tops Buckeyes
With a scorer like Jimmer Fredette (tied for 14th nationally at 21.5 ppg), the BYU Cougars could make quite some noise in the NCAA tournament. The 6'2" junior guard poured in 36 points Wednesday night, leading the Cougars to a 92-70 road win at Colorado State. Fredette hit 12 of 22 shots, including 6 of 10 from 3-point range, adding 5 boards and 6 assists for one of his best games of the season. His high point total was 49 at Arizona. He scored 36 in recently in a home game against the Utah Utes.
The win moved BYU closer to Mountain west leader New Mexico. BYU is 9-2 in the conference; the Lobos are 10-2 and have a win over the Cougars in hand, though the rematch will be at BYU next Saturday. No matter the outcome of that game, both teams are locks to make the Big Dance, and the conference could end up sending as many as four teams to the tourney. Both San Diego St. and UNLV stand at 19-7 overall, and, with the dearth of quality in the PAC-10, those two could slip in behind the Lobos and Cougars.
Notable: The eyes of Texas may be upon coach Rick Barnes, but his players must take much of the responsibility for the Longhorns' horrible showing in conference play. The Longhorns lost for the 6th time in their last 9 outings, dropping an 82-77 decision at Missouri Wednesday night.
While still 20-6 overall, Texas is tied for 6th in the Big 12, at 6-5, and looks like a team that will make an early exit in the NCAA tournament. There are just 5 games remaining in conference play for the Longhorns, and three of those are on the road. The team just looks irrelevant at this point.
Purdue ended Ohio State's 6-game win streak while extending their own to 8 with a 60-57 win on the Buckeyes' home court, pulling the 10-3 Boilermakers to within 1/2 game of Big Ten leader Michigan State (11-3). With a road win over the Spartans in hand, Purdue will have ample opportunity to take home the Big Ten hardware. They host Michigan State on Sunday, Feb. 28. A win would virtually assure them of the conference title, since they close out with a home game against Indiana and a road game at Penn State. Those two have a combined record in conference of 4-22.