PROVO, Utah -- With the game in hand in the final minute, the crowd in the Marriott Center chanted in unison, “You got Jimmered!”
Jimmer Fredette promptly buried a floater in the lane before checking out – an appropriate exit for a player who scored 43 points and left to the sound of more cheers with the ninth-ranked Cougars cruising to a 71-58 win against No. 4 San Diego State on Wednesday. In a game between two top-10 teams that seemed to double as a rock concert, students stormed the court with the historic 20-game winning streak of the previously unbeaten Aztecs having ended and the idol himself still lingering in their midst.
After Fredette finished with a television interview, fans pressed up against his exit route along the press tables and reached out to touch him.
“It was kind of scary,” Fredette said with a laugh.
Think of how the rest of the Mountain West feels after Fredette tore San Diego State apart with an offensive showcase not seen since, well, last week. He topped 40 points for the third time in four games to boost not only his national player of the year candidacy, but also the Cougars into first place in the Mountain West.
Like San Diego State, BYU is now 20-1 after Fredette went 14-for-24 from the field, scoring on hard-nosed drives to the basket, jump shots off his crossover, and the occasional shot from beyond the arc that’s nothing more than a prayer for everyone else.
“You be aggressive, you play your game,” Fredette said. “I wanted to be aggressive right from the get-go.”
Fredette poured in BYU’s final 15 points of the first half, but also needed help as the Aztecs led by a point at halftime.
He got it from the tough play of 6-foot-9 forward Brandon Davies, who scored 14 points and helped double the post. James Anderson came off the bench with five blocks, helping bother San Diego State’s vaunted frontcourt and contain Malcolm Thomas (4-for-11, 10 points) and Billy White (3-for-9, six points).
Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and 15 rebounds, but was feeling the effects of flu-like symptoms and given two bags of IV before the game.
Even though it came before a hostile sellout crowd of 22,700, the loss stung San Diego State, which shot only 35 percent from the field and had the nation’s longest winning streak stopped cold. The Aztecs grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, but couldn't capitalize.
“We’re bitterly disappointed,” San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said. “It’s been 10 months, two weeks since we’ve had that feeling [of losing].”
Fredette, whose brother T.J. fired up the crowd before the game with a Jimmer-inspired rap song entitled “Amazing,” simply wouldn’t let BYU lose.
And the crowd noise was deafening to the point that Fredette couldn’t help but hear the “You got Jimmered” bit.
“It was a funny chant,” Fredette said. “I guess they turned it into a verb … an action verb.”
He said his goal wasn’t to put up 40 and that while it’s a big win, it’s still simply a regular-season win for BYU, which still has to play at San Diego State in four weeks.
All true, but after a virtuoso performance that BYU will not soon forget, one thing could not be denied…
On this night at least, the San Diego State Aztecs were Jimmered.