By: Jay Yeomans
Published: December 8, 2018
Jimmer Fredette delivered a monster all-around performance on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough as the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions held on for the 102-99 win over the Shanghai Sharks.
The former BYU guard finished with a game-high 45 points on the strength of 7-for-16 shooting from beyond the arc and 14-for-15 from the foul line. He added a team-best seven assists, five rebounds, four steals and two blocks in 44 minutes on the floor.
The Sharks got off to a very slow start against the CBA’s second best team, trailing by 10 after the opening quarter, before they got the offense going. Fredette was the catalyst on the offensive end of the floor with 18 second quarter points, but the Lions used a balanced attack to take a double-digit lead into the break.
Shanghai turned up the pressure on the defensive end to start the second half, holding the Lions to just 15 third quarter points before Jimmer caught fire to give the Sharks a short-lived lead.
After knocking down three free throws on the final Sharks possession of the third quarter, Fredette went bonkers from beyond the arc, connecting on back-to-back-to-back triples to start the fourth as Shanghai opened up a 76-73 lead.
But the lead didn’t last long as the Lions quickly answered with a 7-0 run to regain a lead before extending the margin to double figures once again.
The Sharks didn’t quit as they went on a late 13-4 run, but it was too little, too late as the Lions walked away with the win.
The Jimmer Watch YouTube channel shared highlights of the game.
Hu Jinqiu paced the Lions in the win, finishing with 23 points on 11 of 15 shooting from the field while Courtney Fortson registered 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Guangsha also got excellent production off of the bench with 62 points coming from the second unit led by Liu Wei who managed 17 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Cai Liang answered for the Sharks with 17 points of his own while Zhang Zhaoxu managed 12 points, 20 rebounds (11 on the offensive end) and four blocks. As for Shanghai’s other star import, Luis Scola, he totaled 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes.
On the season, Fredette is fifth in the CBA in scoring, averaging 37.1 points a night on 52 percent shooting from inside the arc, 44 percent from 3-point range and 95.2 percent from the free-throw line. He also chips in with a team-high 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds and a league-best 3.4 steals in 40.9 minutes.
Up next for Fredette and the Sharks is a battle with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls who have dropped three of their last four to fall to 8-9 on the season.
Some players to watch for the Golden Bulls are former Missouri guard Marcus Denmon and North Carolina legend Tyler Hansbrough. Denmon is off to an amazing start in his first season in China, averaging 37.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists while Hansbrough is putting up 19.7 points on 58 percent shooting with 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 29.6 minutes.