Former BYU guard Jimmer Fredette had a huge offensive performance, but it wasn’t enough as the Guangzhou Long Lions knocked off the Shanghai Sharks 118-102 on Sunday.
After a cold start, Fredette caught fire in the final period, but it was too little too late as the Long Lions handed the Sharks the opening round road loss. After putting up 22 points through three quarters, Fredette went off in the fourth as he scored 16 points, including an impressive shooting performance from beyond the arc as he connected on four straight three’s to try to keep the Sharks close.
He also got his teammates involved with two key assists in the quarter, but the Sharks just couldn’t do enough to climb back into the game after an early deficit. It was an uphill climb for the Sharks for most of the night after scoring just nine points in the first quarter and finding themselves in a 20-point hole.
Fredette led the way with a game-high 38 points on 12-for-25 shooting from the floor, including a blistering 6-for-11 from beyond the arc and 8-for-9 from the foul line. He also contributed six rebounds, five assists and a steal in 42 minutes. Nick Minnerath added 19 points and nine rebounds in his first regular season game with the Sharks.
The American duo of Kyle Fogg and Tyler Hansbrough did most of the damage for the Long Lions in the big win. Fogg finished with a team-high 34 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists and a steal while Hansbrough totaled 26 points and eight rebounds on a night where he didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
Sani Sakakini also had a huge night for Guangzhou as he registered 21 points and 15 rebounds while Chen Yingjun added 13 points and three boards.
The only other players to score in double figures for the new-look Sharks were Luo Hanchen who managed 18 points and Dong Hanlin who had 14 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the floor.
Up next for Fredette and the Sharks is another road game as they travel to Tianjin to face off with the Gold Lions on Tuesday night.
The Gold Lions are 0-1 on the season after a hard-fought 119-117 loss to Qingdao on Saturday. Some players to watch for Tianjin are Elijah Holman and Pooh Jeter.
Holman carried the offensive load in the opening game with 32 points on 11-for-15 shooting from the floor and 10-for-12 from the foul line while grabbing 15 rebounds. Jeter also had a strong showing in the loss with 25 points, four rebounds and four assists.