SALT LAKE CITY - His family sat behind the bench, the perfect vantage point to watch the youngest child do what he's done since being very young.

It didn't take long before those in the cheap seats at Huntsman Center were also getting the idea that Jimmer Fredette was up to a big scoring night in a basketball career that has been laced with them.

"He came out and hit those first couple of shots," Jimmer's father, Al, said as he accepted all sorts of congratulations Tuesday night after his boy posted 47 points at Utah in a runaway BYU win. "That's when he had it going. He came out, felt comfortable, and you kind of knew...then he hit a fadeaway jumper, leaning back.

"If he's hitting that, he's feeling good. That's like candy."

Fredette fell just two points shy of the school record he set two Decembers ago, when he was a much less known name who scorched Arizona for 49 points on the road.

That was a 30-point win, and this wasn't far off - the 11th-ranked Cougars won 104-79 to improve to 3-0 in Mountain West Conference games and 17-1 overall.

"I just felt good right from the beginning," Fredette said. "When you're feeling it, you're feeling it. And there's nothing you can do about it."

It was the kind of night where Jackson Emery could set BYU's career steals record, getting one in the first half to pass Danny Ainge.

Where Utah, hanging around because of sturdy rebounding and better than usual shooting, trimmed its deficit to eight points (63-55) with 12 minutes left before the visitors went on a 25-6 run to seal the victory. But only five points came from Fredette during that span.

It was also so memorable, the 6-foot-2 senior point guard could miss a dunk (during the game's crucial run) while also sinking a 40-foot shot at the buzzer before halftime, right after the Cougars started with the ball at their own baseline with four seconds left - and he dribbled into a shooting position.

"The basket just got a little bigger, especially in the first half," Fredette said.

And, it was - as if these odds aren't long enough - that heave which brought a rousing applause from Utah fans. Nearly as much as the group of BYU cheering section in the cheap seats.

"You know what? I think they had a guy have a special night," Utah coach Jim Boylen said. "The guy had a terrific night. You have to give him credit for that."

Boylen, known to be terse on some questions, was at ease talking about his 7-10 team, in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, until asked about Fredette's somewhat controversial final minutes.

It was a different atmosphere, for sure, than that legendary night in Tucson. Then, UA coach Sean Miller was joking with Fredette in the closing minutes to not shoot it. He sensed history, and even the Wildcat fans that were left gave him a standing ovation when Fredette was pulled with about three minutes left after he broke the school's scoring record.

This night, BYU was also up big. Rose yanked his star at the 5:44 mark with his team ahead 90-63. Some Utah fans cheered, some BYU fans booed at the thought of a replacement (nothing personal, Nick Martineau).

"Of course, I won't lie to you," Fredette said when asked if he wanted to score 50 points, though he maturely credited the "coach's decision" and the importance of winning, plus some younger teammates getting a chance to gain experience.

But Utah scored the next five points. BYU sent the big dog back in with 4:15 left.

"We wanted to finish this on a positive note," BYU head coach Dave Rose said after winning for the eighth time in nine tries against the Utes. The teams started trading baskets, and Rose deemed 3:07 remaining, a 22-point cushion in hand, as the right time for the second current call.

"I'm not going to comment on that," Boylen said, before contemplating during a six-second pause. "He's a great player."

Yes, he is. As the game wound down, and his scoring total surged upward, Fredette was already getting attention from national basketball analysts on various websites.

His father, mother and two older siblings were already getting deluged with calls and text messages. They come out from New York to visit often, yet happened to be in Utah (Fredette's sister lives in Salt Lake County) when Fredette went wild in Arizona last winter.

"We got to see this one, so that was fun," brother T.J. said.

On both occasions, Fredette hit 16 shots from the field. He hit 6-of-9 from 3-point range this time, only one a really open look as Utah brought a variety of defenders. The second half even meant its best scorer, Will Clyburn (team-high 23 points) wearing down his 6-foot-7 body for the sake of trying to keep a handle on the hot hand early in the second half.

It worked a little. Fredette had a career-best 32 points in the first half, and was 6-of-13 from the field in the final 20 minutes.

Dangerous, because it means he had help. Emery had 20 points (5-of-7 from 3-point range) and there were three other Cougar double-digit scorers: Brandon Davies and Noah Hartsock had 12, while Kyle Collinsworth chipped in 11.

"I really believe the way teams are guarding Jimmer...guys are going to be open," Rose said.

They'll be talking about Fredette today, again all around the country. His total also made him the national scoring-average leader, over UConn's Kemba Walker. They are the top two candidates, in the eyes of many hoops pundits, for national player of the year.

It doesn't take family to figure out the guy's got a shot.