By: Jay Yeomans
Published: October 21, 2018
Jimmer Fredette started off the season with a huge all-around performance as the Shanghai Sharks overcame and early 14-point deficit to knock off the Bayi Rockets, 87-83.
Fredette was the star of the show, finishing with a game-high 38 points on 16-for-27 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-7 from beyond the arc and 3-for-3 at the foul line. He also chipped in with six rebounds, and game highs of six assists and five steals in 35 minutes on the floor.
The former BYU guard really got things rolling midway through the second quarter, scoring 11 points as the Sharks closed the gap from 14 down to two before halftime. Fredette was even better after the break, totaling 25 of the team’s 49 points in the come-from-behind win.
After sitting the early part of the third, Fredette was reinserted into the line-up and took over. He started out with a driving basket to cut the Rockets lead to three followed by a right-wing jumper, He then delivered a perfect pass to Dong Qilin before finishing at the rim with another lay-up to give the Sharks the lead. Fredette then showed off his range with a deep triple to cap a 9-0 Shanghai run.
The Rockets answered with a quick 7-0 of their own to take the lead before Fredette responded with a free-throw line jumper to make it 60-59 Rockets heading into the fourth quarter.
After a pair of buckets early in the fourth, Fredette saved his best for last, scoring 10 points during a 15-7 run as Shanghai crawled out of a late hole to get the win. He started out the late offensive burst with a 3-point play to close the gap to one before connecting on a left-wing triple to give the Sharks the lead.
Then with the game tied in the final minutes, Fredette put the Sharks up for good with a clutch basket to make it 85-83 Shanghai before icing the game with a pair of free throws.
Dong Qilin added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Sharks while Zhang Zhaoxu contributed six points, nine rebounds and five blocks. As for fellow import, Luis Scola, he registered seven points and seven rebounds while playing just 12 minutes.
Meng Lei paced the Rockets in the loss with 22 points and five rebounds while Fu Hao totaled 12 points and 10 boards.
It is important to point out that while rebounding was still a significant problem for the Sharks, they got outrebounded 54-43, they really played well on the defensive end of the floor, holding Bayi to 34 percent shooting from the floor (32 of 94) and 28.1 percent from 3-point land (9 of 32).
Fredette and the Sharks continue their difficult start with another tough road test on Tuesday against the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions before starting their home slate on Thursday with a match-up against the defending champion Liaoning Flying Leopards.