No. 24 BYU 83, Fresno St. 56

BYU coach Dave Rose knew what preseason All-American Jimmer

Fredette could do. What he wasn’t sure about were his big men.

But reserve Noah Hartsock scored a career-high 21 points and

Chris Collinsworth grabbed seven rebounds in 17 minutes as the

24th-ranked Cougars rallied from a slow start to an 83-56 victory

Friday night over Fresno State in the season opener.

Fredette led all scorers with 24 points.

”We knew Jimmer would do what Jimmer does,” Fresno State coach

Steve Cleveland said. ”Hartsock was the difference-maker. He

played well, made shots. He was so solid.”

Fredette, an AP preseason All-America, got off to a slow start,

but scored 11 of his 14 first-half points in a 4-minute span when

BYU pushed its lead from five points to 21. The Cougars, who are

coming off a 30-win season, led 45-26 at halftime and coasted in

the second half.

”I was a little frustrated early,” Rose said. ”They did a

really good job of taking us out of where we wanted to be. It took

us a little longer to get started.”

He said the key was rebounding, and getting Fresno State’s

6-foot-10 center Greg Smith into foul trouble.

Fredette, who led BYU to the second round of the NCAA tournament

last season, said having a sellout crowd of 22,700 – second-highest

all-time – helped get him and his teammates going.

”We just didn’t play as hard as we should have in the first

four or five minutes,” Fredette said. ”Finally the energy caught

up to us and we were able to get out and run, get stops and play

the way we play.”

Rose started sophomores Collinsworth and Brandon Davies but

Hartsock’s effort may have won him the starting job back.

The 6-9 Collinsworth, who just returned from a two-year mission

in Australia, played 17 minutes and grabbed seven rebounds, while

Davies had five rebounds in 14 minutes.

The 27-point win spoiled a homecoming for Cleveland, who won 90

games at the Marriott Center while coach of the Cougars from

1997-2005. With his Bulldogs committing 11 first-half turnovers and

shooting 35.1 percent overall, he had no chance of getting win No.

91.

”We shot the ball very poorly,” said Cleveland, noting nearly

half of his players had never played in a Division I game before.

”I think when we go back and watch the film, you are going to see

about 10 to 12 wide-open 3s, and we just couldn’t make a basket.

You have to make those shots, not just to beat BYU, but to beat

anyone.

”I have special memories being here,” Cleveland said. ”It

wasn’t always easy. But I’m pleased for Dave. They’re going to be

really good.”

Charles Abouo added 13 points and six rebounds for BYU.

Nedeljko Golubovic led Fresno State with 12 points, all in the

first half. Smith, the Western Athletic Conference freshman of the

year last season, was held to seven points. He played only six

minutes in the first half and was on the bench when BYU took

control of the game.

”I was real pleased with the second half,” Rose said. ”There

were a lot of guys who came in for us and got comfortable and were

able to play at the pace that we wanted to play.”

Rose would get all 12 players into the game, experimenting with

different frontcourt combinations.

Fresno State held a 7-6 lead five minutes into the game, and led

again, 18-17, with 9:18 remaining in the first half.

But it was all BYU from there as Fredette got the Cougars

rolling with one of his driving layups. He made 9 of 15 shots and

added eight assists and three rebounds.