Jimmer Fredette recorded a season-high 47 points in BYU's latest victory to take over the national scoring lead. TCU won't have to think too hard to remember another one of his 40-point efforts.
Fredette scored 45 to knock the Horned Frogs out of last year's Mountain West Conference tournament, the ninth-ranked Cougars' 13th straight victory in a series that continues Tuesday night in Provo.
BYU (17-1, 3-0) was in good shape at halftime last Tuesday against Utah in Salt Lake City, and as usual, Fredette was the reason. The senior guard hit a 40-foot buzzer-beater to give him 32 first-half points - his most in a half in his career.
He had 15 after the intermission, and that was more than enough. The Cougars cruised to a 104-79 win behind Fredette, who surpassed Connecticut's Kemba Walker for the Division I scoring lead at 26.1 points per game.
"He's a special player," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "He's on a roll and playing with a lot of confidence."
TCU (10-9, 1-3) certainly remembers what was, prior to the win at Utah, the best half of Fredette's career. The All-American scored 30 points in the second half of a 95-85 MWC tournament quarterfinal victory March 11, helping the Cougars overcome a 40-39 deficit at the break.
He also had a game-high six assists in that win, which frustrated Frogs coach Jim Christian as much as anything.
"It's difficult because we tried everything we could do," Christian said after the loss. "You trap him. The other guys, they hit so many timely shots as a team, it's hard to take out one guy, especially when he can pass the ball and the other guys can play."
Unfortunately for TCU, that's as close as it has come against BYU in quite a while. The Cougars have won the last 13 meetings by an average of 14.7 points, and nine of the last 10 margins have been double digits.
Fredette did much of his damage at the line in the MWC tournament game against the Frogs, hitting 23 of 24 free throws, but their first priority Tuesday should be defending the 3-point line. BYU shot 47.9 percent (34 of 71) from beyond the arc in its three victories over TCU last season.
Much of that damage was done by senior guard Jackson Emery, who broke Danny Ainge's 30-year-old school steals record against Utah. Emery went 13 of 19 from 3-point range against TCU last season and averaged 16.3 points and 3.0 steals.
While BYU does much of its scoring from beyond the arc, the Frogs' failure to win their latest game came down to an inability to defend down low. Colorado State scored 40 points in the paint and shot 60.4 percent overall in a 79-69 victory Saturday, TCU's fifth straight loss away from home.
Christian's team has been in trouble in its past few road games due to poor starts. The Horned Frogs have been outscored 95-63 in the first half at UNLV and Colorado State this month.
That doesn't bode well against Fredette and the Cougars, who have won seven straight by an average of 16.9 points.
"That's what you want to do as a basketball player," Fredette said. "You want to kill your opponent."
TCU has lost 15 straight on the road against ranked opponents.