LAS VEGAS -- New Mexico finally "Got Jimmerred" after losing to the Lobos twice during the regular season, BYU exacted revenge behind a record-setting night by senior guard Jimmer Fredette.
The nation's leading scorer, and National Player of the Year shoo-in, set a Mountain West Conference Tournament record with a career-high 52 points as the 8th-ranked Cougars beat the Lobos 87-76 at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Fredette scored on a variety of step-back jumpers, scoop lay-ups and double-clutch one-handers for his sixth career game of 40 or more points. He made 22 of the 37 shots he took including 7-of-14 from three-point range.
Fredette's 33 first-half points marked an individual career-high for one half and set an arena record for most points in one half. It was the third time this season he has scored more than 30 points in one half. For some perspective, the Aztecs' team scored 30 points in the first half of their quarterfinal win over Utah. The Utes scored only 15 points as a team in that game.
Fredette also became BYU's all-time leading scorer when he hit the 50-point mark on a three-point play with 4:24 to play and was greeted with a thunderous standing ovation from the thousands of BYU fans in attendance. His 2,471 points put him ahead of Danny Ainge (2,467 points) and broke a 30 year-old school record. Fredette also became the all-time leading scorer in MWC tournament history with 207 points.
Despite Fredette's explosion, New Mexico (21-12) managed to keep the game close and very entertaining in front of a raucous, bipartisan crowd. The Cougars (30-3) and Lobos traded the lead 14 times and had eight ties. New Mexico hung in for most of the game due to 48 percent shooting from the field, including 53 percent in the first half.
Led by MWC Newcomer of the Year Drew Gordon's 17 points and 15 rebounds, the Lobos tied the game at 58 with 9:54 to play in the game. Jackson Emery then came up with consecutive steals that led to a Fredette finger roll and a Kyle Collinsworth tip-in to give BYU the lead for good.
The MWC co-champions advance to the tournament title game for the first time since 2008 and will play the winner of San Diego State and UNLV on Saturday at 4 pm. BYU has not won a conference tournament title since 2001.
Fredette 'Jimmers' New Mexico with 50 points, lifts BYU to MWC championship game
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