Southeast region: Jimmer jammed

Gators end Fredette's NCAA Tournament run, move one game from Final Four

Associated PressMarch 25, 2011 

NEW ORLEANS — Alex Tyus is like most of these Florida Gators — good at a lot of things, but lacking one dominant skill. He's usually content to blend in and be just another part of the team's effectively anonymous style.

On the biggest stage of his career, the senior's impact was obvious.

Tyus had 19 points and 17 rebounds as Florida beat BYU 83-74 in overtime Thursday night, chasing a bloodied Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars out of the NCAA Tournament.

Now the Gators will be playing for a spot in the Final Four for the first time since 2007 — ascending back into the nation's elite after a hiatus from the spotlight following back-to-back national championships in 2006 and '07.

"It's been so rewarding for me to see them make the journey they've made to this point now," Florida Coach Billy Donovan said. "It's been very, very rewarding and fulfilling for me, and I hope in some way I've been able to give them as much as they've given me."

While Fredette was the star attraction, scoring 32 points on 11-for-29 shooting in the final game of his college career, Florida countered with balance.

Kenny Boynton added 17 points — while also playing tight defense on Fredette — and Erving Walker and Chandler Parsons both scored 16. Boynton and Parsons each hit three-pointers in overtime as Florida outscored BYU 15-6.

But it was Tyus' monster game that put the Gators over the top. The 6-foot-8 senior is the team's fifth-leading scorer, averaging 8.6 points and 5.7 rebounds coming into the game.

"The thing about Alex is he never really gets fazed with the moment or with what's going on," Donovan said. "One of the things I've tried to pull out of him and get him to see is that when he has a lot of activity and he's flying around the court, because of his athleticism, he's got a great ability to impact a game."

While Tyus was battling under the basket, Boynton was glued to Fredette on defense the entire game.

Fredette was just 3-for-15 from three-point range and had to work for his points against the physical pressure. By the end of the night, he had a bandage on his chin from a blow in the second half and a sore calf, but the baskets kept coming until he was held scoreless in overtime.

When the outcome became apparent with one minute remaining, BYU Coach Dave Rose subbed out Fredette, bringing a standing ovation from the crowd. He averaged nearly 33 points during three NCAA Tournament games and finished the season by scoring at least 30 points in seven out of eight games.

Rose said Fredette's legacy would be a simple one to define.

"Winning games — that's his legacy," Rose said. "He just helped his team find ways to win games."

But it's Florida (29-7) that continues to play, eliminating BYU (32-5) and reaching its first regional final since 2007.

Fredette, who came into the game as the nation's leading scorer at 28.8 points per game, missed his first six shots from the field. But the Cougars were able to tread water thanks to Jackson Emery and Stephen Rogers, who combined to hit five three-pointers in the first half.

Fredette was held scoreless for nearly 14 minutes before hitting a layup with 6:17 remaining in the first half. He made four of his next seven shots to finish the half with 10 points.

Butler 61, Wisconsin 54: Matt Howard scored 19 points and Butler sent home yet another higher seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Bryan Station graduate Shelvin Mack scored 13 points and Shawn Vanzant 10 for the eighth-seeded Bulldogs (26-9), who led by 20 points in the second half before withstanding a late rally by the Badgers.

Jordan Taylor scored 22 for Wisconsin (25-9), which shot 30.4 percent (17-for-56). Jon Leuer, normally one of the Badgers' top offensive forces with 18.7 points per game coming in, was 1-for-12 shooting and finished with three points.

The victory sends Butler into the Southeast regional finals, where the Bulldogs meet Florida (29-7) for a trip to the Final Four.

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