Brigham Young fends off UNR in scoring bonanza

It took the very best Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery had to offer for Brigham Young to make it to today’s finals of the Las Vegas Classic.

Fredette had a career-high 33 points and Emery a career-best 27 for the Cougars, who barely escaped with a 110-104 win over UNR on Tuesday at the Orleans Arena.

BYU (11-1) will face Nebraska in today’s 7:30 p.m. championship after the Cornhuskers topped Tulsa, 74-70. UNR (6-5) will meet the Golden Hurricane in the third-place game at 5 p.m.

”Both teams like to push it, so we knew it would be about offense,” Emery said. ”It was like an (NCAA) Tournament game. Neither team could really pull away.”

The Cougars won because they couldn’t miss from the free-throw line. BYU was 27 of 28, helping negate the Wolf Pack’s 63 percent shooting from the field.

”That was a different kind of game,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. ”I was proud of the way our guys hung in there. We knew (UNR) had some very talented players, and they put a lot of pressure on us offensively.”

UNR junior point guard Armon Johnson had one of the best games of his career, scoring 30 points. Five Wolf Pack players scored in double figures, including Dario Hunt with a career-high 21. Luke Babbitt had a strong second half to finish with 20 points.

But UNR was unable to contain Fredette and Emery, and resorting to fouling turned out to be a bad option.

”We take a lot of pride in our free-throw shooting,” said Fredette, who made all nine of his tries and is hitting 94 percent for the season. ”Every time we tried to pull away, they made a tough shot and kept coming back. The free throws were critical.”

UNR hasn’t won on the road in five tries this year, and coach David Carter said turnovers contributed to his team’s issues Tuesday.

”We talked about playing 40 minutes,” Carter said. ”But the key was turnovers. You can’t turn it over and give them easy baskets.”

UNR actually made things hard on Fredette early. He didn’t get his first points until eight minutes into the game, converting a three-point play after scoring and getting fouled.

”I just tried to stay patient and not force anything,” Fredette said. ”That’s the beauty of this team — we have lots of guys capable of scoring.”

BYU finally took control of the game with three minutes remaining, when it stretched the lead to 10 at 96-86.

”It was probably an enjoyable game for the fans, not so much for the coaches,” Rose said.

By STEVE CARP

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

It took the very best Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery had to offer for Brigham Young to make it to today’s finals of the Las Vegas Classic.

Fredette had a career-high 33 points and Emery a career-best 27 for the Cougars, who barely escaped with a 110-104 win over UNR on Tuesday at the Orleans Arena.

BYU (11-1) will face Nebraska in today’s 7:30 p.m. championship after the Cornhuskers topped Tulsa, 74-70. UNR (6-5) will meet the Golden Hurricane in the third-place game at 5 p.m.

”Both teams like to push it, so we knew it would be about offense,” Emery said. ”It was like an (NCAA) Tournament game. Neither team could really pull away.”

The Cougars won because they couldn’t miss from the free-throw line. BYU was 27 of 28, helping negate the Wolf Pack’s 63 percent shooting from the field.

”That was a different kind of game,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. ”I was proud of the way our guys hung in there. We knew (UNR) had some very talented players, and they put a lot of pressure on us offensively.”

UNR junior point guard Armon Johnson had one of the best games of his career, scoring 30 points. Five Wolf Pack players scored in double figures, including Dario Hunt with a career-high 21. Luke Babbitt had a strong second half to finish with 20 points.

But UNR was unable to contain Fredette and Emery, and resorting to fouling turned out to be a bad option.

”We take a lot of pride in our free-throw shooting,” said Fredette, who made all nine of his tries and is hitting 94 percent for the season. ”Every time we tried to pull away, they made a tough shot and kept coming back. The free throws were critical.”

UNR hasn’t won on the road in five tries this year, and coach David Carter said turnovers contributed to his team’s issues Tuesday.

”We talked about playing 40 minutes,” Carter said. ”But the key was turnovers. You can’t turn it over and give them easy baskets.”

UNR actually made things hard on Fredette early. He didn’t score his first points until eight minutes into the game.

”I just tried to stay patient and not force anything,” Fredette said. ”That’s the beauty of this team — we have lots of guys capable of scoring.”

BYU finaly got control of the game with three minutes remaining, when it stretched the lead to 10 at 96-86.

”It was probably an enjoyable game for the fans, not so much for the coaches,” Rose said.

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