SALT LAKE CITY - After nearly the same exact nightmare struck again Saturday, Sean Miller grabbed the monster under his bed and shook his hand.
"He said, 'I tell you what, if you need anything from anybody, I'm your guy,'" BYU star Jimmer Fredette said of Miller. The Arizona Wildcats coach said "anything you need, you let me know and I'll get it for you."
"I was like, 'All right. Thanks, coach. Appreciate it.'"
BYU had routed the Wildcats for a second straight season, 87-65 at EnergySolutions Arena, and it was clear to Miller that Fredette and the Cougars, simply put, owned the Wildcats.
Fredette, who scored 49 points in the Cougars' 30-point win a year ago at McKale Center, had 33 points with nine rebounds and three assists on Saturday despite leaving the game for good with over five minutes left.
All that despite the fact that Arizona entered the game allowing opponents to shoot only 41.5 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from three-point range, building up an 8-1 record and a potential case for a Top 25 berth with a victory.
Instead, UA dropped to 8-2 while the 18th-ranked Cougars moved to 10-0 and Fredette moved into the No. 7 spot on BYU's all-time scoring chart with more than 20 games to go.
"He's a terrific offensive player," Miller said. "That puts a lot of pressure on any team who guards him. He did an excellent job of making the game easy for his teammates, playing within himself and scoring an easy 30-plus points.
"We tried to do a good job of making sure we played him as a team, we went over screens and tried to stay on him. But he's so clever … and I really believe he has a great supporting cast as well."
Indeed, while Fredette made 11 of 22 field goal attempts despite often being guarded closely, the other Cougars screened and passed themselves into repeated good looks at the basket.
They did it early, too, getting a wide-open three at the top of the key by Noah Hartsock and seven early points from Fredette to help take a 12-4 lead less than four minutes into the game.
After that moment, even though Arizona later cut the lead to four points, the Wildcats were never the same. They trailed by 19 at halftime and kept it from getting worse in the second half only because steely-eyed guard MoMo Jones poured in all of his career-high 20 points after halftime.
Miller did not allow Jones and other UA players to comment afterward but said the Wildcats were flat defensively, especially away from the ball.
"When you're down on the road and you don't have the home crowd behind you, and things aren't going well for you personally, defense becomes a lot harder," Miller said. "It's just harder to move, hard to give great effort. It's harder to think.
"The circumstances of our slow start, being on the road against a team that beat us a year ago, really started to affect us defensively and we had some lack of effort, some lack of concentration."
The Cougars wound up shooting 51.8 percent from the field, also taking advantage of 11 more trips to the foul line than UA by hitting 24 of 31 free throws. Forward Kyle Collinsworth had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and center Brandon Davies nearly equaled Derrick Williams' splashy 13 points with 11 of his own on 5-for-5 shooting.
All of the BYU players, too, could credit Fredette for at least some of their production. Arizona rotated guys in on Fredette, and aggressively helped on him defensively, which only made things easier for everyone else.
"We try to adjust to how people are going to guard us and that's where Jimmer is really getting better," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "He's making so many plays for his teammates and when he's on, making shots like today, it just makes us really hard to guard."
Defensively, the Cougars also baffled the Wildcats by more often going to their 3-2 zone than they did a year earlier. Arizona failed to move the ball well against the offense, took poor shots, and wound up shooting only 28.1 percent from the field in the first half.
The Wildcats finished with 35 percent shooting, by far their worst field-goal mark of the season, and those other than Jones (7 for 11) and Williams (5 of 9) hit only 22.5 percent.
"We did a great job of defensively mixing things up and going to the zone, and I think it bothered them a little bit," Fredette said. "Sometimes they get a little stagnant in that zone when we go to it. That's something we worked on. We have some guys who are long and athletic and can kind of bother you in the passing lanes and we are quick to our spots."
In the end, the Wildcats didn't really bother anybody. They'll have to try to do that Thursday night against NAU, or next weekend at North Carolina State.
But for Saturday, the best thing the Wildcats could do was just go back to bed, and wake up sometime after the sun rises.
"This was our worst performance of the year," Miller said. "We can certainly play better than we played tonight.
"But BYU deserves a lot of credit. I'm not going to be that guy who blames just us. We played against a very good team behind a great crowd. They're going to be a tough team to beat here, or at home (in Provo), and we weren't up for that challenge."
• Who: NAU at Arizona
• When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
• TV: FSAZ
• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM