Florida uses balance to top Fredette, BYU
Alex Tyus is like most of these Florida Gators — good at a lot of things, but lacking one dominant skill. He’s usually content to blend in and be just another part of the team’s effectively anonymous style.
On the biggest stage of his career, the senior’s impact was obvious.
Tyus had 19 points and 17 rebounds as Florida beat BYU 83-74 in overtime Thursday night, chasing a bloodied Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars out of the NCAA tournament.
Now the Gators will be playing for a spot in the Final Four for the first time since 2007 — ascending back into the nation’s elite after a hiatus from the spotlight following back-to-back national championships in 2006 and ’07.
“It’s been so rewarding for me to see them make the journey they’ve made to this point now,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “It’s been very, very rewarding and fulfilling for me, and I hope in some way I’ve been able to give them as much as they’ve given me.”
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 also playing tight defense on Fredette — and Erving Walker and Chandler Parsons both scored 16. Boynton and Parsons each hit 3-pointers in overtime as Florida outscored BYU 15-6.
But it was Tyus’ monster game that put the Gators over the top. The 6-foot-8 senior is the team’s fifth-leading scorer, averaging 8.6 points and 5.7 rebounds coming into the game.
“The thing about Alex is he never really gets fazed with the moment or with what’s going on,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “One of the things I’ve tried to pull out of him and get him to see is that when he has a lot of activity and he’s flying around the court, because of his athleticism, he’s got a great ability to impact a game.”
While Tyus was battling under the basket, Boynton was glued to Fredette on defense the entire game.
Fredette made just 3 of 15 from 3-point range and had to work for his points against the physical pressure.
By the end of the night, he had a bandage on his chin from a blow in the second half and a sore calf, but the baskets kept coming until he was held scoreless in overtime.