November 27, 2010
On one hand, the Cougars shot 32.1 percent from the field and missed 17 free throws yet still managed to eke out a neutral-court victory over a Big East opponent. On the other hand, they needed a late comeback from a 10-point deficit in regulation and then a buzzer beater in the second overtime to defeat a South Florida team likely to finish in the bottom four in the Big East.
Perhaps that explains the subdued celebration following Noah Hartsock's game-winning baseline jumper as time expired. Fredette lies on the floor with a smile on his face and Hartsock raises his arms in victory, yet there were only a few brief handshakes on the court instead of the usual frenzied celebration or dog pile after a game-winner.
BYU will have to shoot far better in the title game on Saturday against Saint Mary's to preserve its national ranking and spotless record. Since a narrow season-opening win over St. John's, the Gaels have annihilated the next four teams they've played, most recently an 88-68 rout of Texas Tech on Friday night.