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Recap: Colorado State , Brigham Young
Date: February 23, 2011 8:00 PM EDT
  

PROVO, Utah (AP) - BYU is inching closer to a conference title, and it came with a few bumps and bruises.

Jimmer Fredette scored 34 points and Brandon Davies added 14 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 7 BYU over Colorado State 84-76 on Wednesday night.

Fredette and Davies combined to score 26 points from the free throw line in a rough game that featured 53 fouls and 69 free throws. Fredette hit 14 of 16, while Davies was 12 of 16 from the line.

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The victory sets up Saturday's showdown against No. 6 San Diego State with the Mountain West Conference title at stake.

``The game was exactly how we thought it would play out as far as how physical it was and how competitive it was,' BYU coach Dave Rose said. ``Both teams played with a lot of emotion.'

The Cougars (26-2, 12-1) took a 14-point lead midway through the first half before the Rams (18-9, 8-5) trimmed the lead to 44-36 at halftime.

Andy Ogide had 25 points and eight rebounds, and Adam Nigon added 14 points for CSU, including four 3-pointers.

Colorado State opened the second half on a 10-4 run to cut BYU's lead to 48-46, but the Rams failed to score on the next five possessions and never got closer than four.

``I love our guys' effort,' CSU coach Tim Miles said. ``We went out there and battled and battled.'

BYU won despite turning the ball over 19 times and shooting only 39 percent from the floor.

``What you really worry about is trying to win. I was pleased with the fact that we made a few plays down the stretch and were able to win the game ... I thought our effort was terrific and I thought we played really hard,' Rose said.

The difference in the game came at the charity stripe. The Cougars outscored the Rams 35-17 from the line and shot 29 second-half free throws to only nine for CSU.

Another big key for the Cougars was their work on the boards, where they outrebounded the Rams 48-29, including an 18-8 advantage on the offensive boards. However, Miles wasn't blaming the officiating for the big discrepancies in foul shots and rebounding.

``I think both were a byproduct of us extending our defense against Jimmer. When you get extended you are often vulnerable to fouls and rebounds,' the Rams coach said.

In the first 7 minutes, there were five ties and four lead changes before the Cougars went on a 14-0 run to take a 27-13 lead. Jackson Emery started the run with a long 3-pointer and Fredette had a rare four-point play in the stretch.

``They'd throw some guys at me and try to keep me off balance, so I had to stay aggressive and keep playing my game,' Fredette said of his 14 trips to the line.

But the Cougars never could pull away and had nine first-half turnovers. The Rams capitalized and cut BYU's lead to 44-36 at the half with the help of 14-of-17 shooting from the free throw line.

BYU got a little separation from the Rams when a scoop by Fredette, a jumper by Charles Abouo and tip by Noah Hartsock pushed the lead to 69-56.

The Rams responded once again behind the long-range shooting of Nigon and inside scoring of Ogide to cut the lead to 72-67 with 5:38 to play. The Rams never got closer and the Cougars held on, mainly by going to the line, and widened their lead to nine points three separate times down the stretch.

``A team that's desperate is a team that's dangerous, and we knew they were going to fight back every time we hit them with a good run,' Fredette said.

When Fredette hit a 3-pointer midway through the first half, he passed Jonathan Tavernari for BYU's all-time single-season mark for made 3-pointers with 89. He also moved into third place on the school's all-time scoring list with 2,299 points.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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