OKLAHOMA CITY -- Quick halftime thoughts from BYU 35, Florida 33.
Forget Jimmer Fredette. The star of the first half for the Cougars was sophomore reserve guard Michael Loyd, who slapped a personal 10-0 run on the Gators to erase a seven-point BYU deficit and give the Cougars the lead at halftime. Loyd’s run: a 3-pointer from the right wing, a floater in the paint, a pull-3 in transition from the left wing, and then a sassy driving banker. Nice work, young man.
Fredette had to work hard for his shots, and didn’t make many of them. He was 4-for-9 for eight points. Florida did a good job denying him the ball and trying to keep the strong shooting guard out of the paint on the drive. Fredette’s use of his left hand is impressive -- not enough players can go either direction with the ball. He can.
With the arena mostly empty, you hear everything. Especially the really loud BYU heckler sitting at midcourt, whose favorite first-half target was Florida forward Chandler Parsons. Heckler was all over him until Parsons drained a 3 and pointed the guy’s direction -- never looked at him, just pointed. Well played by Parsons.
Florida got some good production from freshman guard Kenny Boynton, who had eight points and three assists in the first half. Parsons had five assists to go with four points, but was just 1-for-4 from the foul line.
BYU is renowned for its shooting ability and for passing to get good shots. It lived up to that rep in the first half, shooting 52 percent from the field. The Cougars were hitting at 56 percent until ending the half with a string of misses.
Neither team has significant foul problems, so that shouldn’t be a factor in the second half.