Missing eight shots and making just one in the first half didn't discourage Jimmer Fredette. He just kept on shooting until he got hot.
Fredette shook off a sluggish start to score 28 of his season-high 34 points in the second half and Noah Hartsock added 19 to lead No. 16 BYU over Buffalo 90-82 Thursday night.
Fredette started his second-half turnaround with a pair of easy baskets that helped calm the senior. He first sank an uncontested jumper 30 seconds in, then made an easy layup 25 seconds later after Charles Abouo's steal.
"I've had games like that." he said. "You're not going to shoot the ball great every single night. The main thing is you have to have short-term memory loss. You have to go out there and know that you're a good player and you still have to shoot shots because you know your team needs that."
Brandon Davies added 18 for the Cougars (13-1), who have won three straight following an 86-79 loss to UCLA almost two weeks ago.
The win was coach Dave Rose's 140th at BYU, moving him into third place on the school's career list. He passed G. Ott Romney.
Fredette helped put the pesky Bulls away. He capped a 7-0 run with 14:11 left by draining a 3-pointer that gave BYU a 52-41 lead, then had 7 of the Cougars' 10 points in a 10-0 run that made it 64-53 with 9 minutes to go.
Overall, Fredette connected on 10 of 15 shots in the second half, including hitting 3 of 6 3-pointers.
"He's a bad dude," Bulls coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "He got going. If you do a bad job on him, he gets 50. I was trying to recall a better visiting college player to this area, and there's no debate now. He just pulls and fires."
Buffalo evened the score three times in the game, but was never able to take the lead.
"Buffalo just wouldn't quit," Rose said. "They just kept coming back and coming back. Anything we did defensively, they had an answer for it."
Mitchell Watt had 17 points, Byron Mulkey contributed 16 and eight assists, and Javon McCrea had 15 for the Bulls (7-4). Buffalo had won three in a row.
Fredette made 1 of 9 shots in the first 20 minutes. With BYU ahead 54-53 with 11½ minutes left, Fredette halted Buffalo's momentum by making a 3 and following with a driving layup as part of that 10-0 run.
With Fredette struggling, Hartsock picked up the slack in the first half, helping the Cougars build a 16-5 lead just 6 minutes in by scoring 11 points, connecting on all three of his 3-pointers.
"I've been shooting a lot of 3's lately, and just trying to get better with that," Hartsock said. "I just made them and helped the team get off to a good start."
BYU's Stephen Rogers converted a three-point play with 2:42 left before Buffalo finished the first half on a 10-4 run, closing to 39-37.
"I thought in the first half we would get a lead and relax a little bit," Rose said. "In the second half we'd get up and then you really realized how together that Buffalo team is. They were focused in and playing for one reason, and that was to win."
Senior guard Jackson Emery finished with four steals, pulling him to within four of Danny Ainge's school-record of 195 steals.