Fredette scores 25 as BYU defeats Bradley 70-60

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Jimmer Fredette's plan to play his entire college career for BYU coach Dave Rose appeared in jeopardy during the summer when Rose was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The junior guard is resting easier now that Rose has a clean bill of health and a new five-year contract announced Friday.

Fredette celebrated by scoring a game-high 25 points to lead the Cougars past Bradley 70-60 Friday night in the first game of the season for both teams.

"It's great to have Coach Rose have a secured spot at Brigham Young," Fredette said. "It's great for a recruit to know he'll be here for his four years. That's why I came here."

The feeling was mutual after Fredette made 12 of 14 free throws and added five rebounds and four assists while playing 37 minutes for the Cougars (1-0).

Jonathan Tavernari scored 13 points and Michael Loyd Jr. added 10 for BYU.

Chris Roberts scored 16 and Sam Maniscalco added 15 to lead Bradley (0-1). Braves guard Andre Warren scored 13 and grabbed a team-high six rebounds in his first game after missing last season with a stress fracture in his foot.

Bradley played without forward Taylor Brown, who was suspended by coach Jim Les for two games for a violation of team rules. Brown was charged with misdemeanor battery in September after a fight with a student from another school.

Rose improved his record to 98-34. He said looks forward to coaching the young players in the program, not to mention Fredette, who noticed the Cougars were settling for jump shots midway through the second half and attacked the basket.

He drove for a layup and then converted four free throws to lead an 8-0 spurt that gave BYU a 56-46 lead with eight minutes to go. Bradley never drew closer than seven points.

"The refs were calling it close and I knew if I could get to the basket I could get some fouls and go to the line," said Fredette, who made his last 12 free throws.

"The experience Jimmer has really helped us," Rose said.

Bradley scored first, then trailed throughout the game, tying the score once at 39-39 with 15 minutes left when Roberts power-dunked an alley-oop pass from Maniscalco.

Roberts was fouled but missed the go-ahead free throw, and Will Egolf missed a layup that would have given the Braves the lead on the next possession.

True freshmen Tyler Haws and Brandon Davies made their BYU debuts early in the game. Haws collected a game-high seven rebounds in 19 minutes.

The contest was the first in the new Mountain West Conference/Missouri Valley Conference Challenge. The four-year deal calls for nine games between the two leagues each season.

Both coaches said the challenge resulted in a season opener that felt like a conference game.

"That's a good basketball team," Les said. "It was a hell of way to get started."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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