Gators Advance to Elite Eight

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- BYU had the best scorer on the court. Florida had the best team. Alex Tyus scored 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as Florida beat BYU 83-74 in overtime Thursday night, chasing Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars out of the NCAA tournament.

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 Erving Walker and Chandler Parsons both scored 16. Boynton and Parsons each hit three-pointers in overtime as Florida outscored BYU 15-6.

Fredette made just 3 of 15 from three-point range and had to work for his points against Florida's physical defense. By the end of the game, he had a bandage on his chin from a blow taken in the second half, 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 him out, bringing a standing ovation from the crowd.

Florida (29-7) eliminated BYU (32-5) and reached its first regional final since 2007.

The Gators led for much of the first half, but BYU rallied to tie the game at 36-36 by halftime.

Florida was almost unstoppable early, making 10 of its first 13 shots and leading by 10 points, but the Gators cooled dramatically from that point, making just 4 of 13 from the field and 1 of 6 from the free-throw line in the first half.

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

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.

The Gators double-teamed Fredette occasionally, but usually guarded him one-on-one with Kenny Boynton or Scottie Wilbekin. Fredette was bumped several times while trying to finish layups, and two of his first three shots were blocked.

But fouls were hard to come by, despite Fredette's occasional glares toward officials and the anger from the vastly pro-BYU crowd at New Orleans Arena.

Midway through the second half, Fredette's chin was bleeding and he came out of a timeout sporting a white bandage. But it didn't stop him.

He brought the crowd to its feet with 4:56 remaining, nailing a three-pointer from 30 feet away to tie the game at 63-63.

But Florida wasn't rattled, making several big shots. Tyus did the vast majority of his damage in the most cruical moments, with 12 points and 11 rebounds after halftime.

The Gators had the last shot in regulation, but Parsons missed a contested layup with one second remaining.

Compared to the tense final moments of the second half, overtime was anticlimatic. Tyus hit a layup and Boynton made a short jumper to give Florida a 72-68 lead and the Gators cruised from there as Fredette's threes wouldn't fall.

BYU beat Florida 99-92 in double overtime in the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament.

BYU finished the season with the most wins in school history and made the round of 16 for the first time since 1981, when another famous Cougars guard, Danny Ainge, was the star.


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