Central Michigan’s Marcus Keene recorded the first 50-point game in NCAA Division I play in the last four years a little over a month ago, making it rain with 10 three-pointers to give the team a 101-92 win over Miami of Ohio.
It’s just shy of four years since the last 50-point game, that being South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters with 53 on February 7, 2013.
At 12-7 overall but just 2-4 in conference play, the Chippewas didn’t make the NCAA field, but Keene is electrifying to watch. He was 15-of-23 from the field, 10-of-15 from the three-point line, and 10-of-10 from the field, finding time for two rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
What’s even more ridiculous is that the junior from San Antonio is all of 5-foot-9 and 175-pounds. He is shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 39.8 percent from the three-point line.
Keene’s numbers might have lit up the scoreboard, but he barely even scratched the surface of the greatest scoring efforts of all time. Here’s a look back at the five biggest scoring performances in Division I history.
Kevin Bradshaw, American International, 72 points
I know what you’re probably thinking right now. Who the hell is Kevin Bradshaw? The answer is a 6’6” guard who bounced around before settling in at American International when the team decided to go up-tempo with a fast-breaking offense. He exploded to average 37.6 points per game and when the team faced off the wildly successful Loyola Marymount squad, records were shattered in an 186-150 Marymount win. Bradshaw went on to play 11 seasons in Israel.
Pete Maravich, LSU, 69 points and 66 points
Yep, Pistol Pete was such a bad-ass he’s on this shortlist twice. Even better, the opponents involved — he lit up Alabama for 69 points in 1970 and crushed in-state rival Tulane with 66 in 1969. Of the players who have scored 60 or more points against Division I opponents, Maravich is on the list four times. No other player did it more than twice. All these years later, he’s still the NCAA leader in career points (3,667) and points per game (44.2) – all before the three-point line and the shot clock, and without being able to play as a freshman.
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Calvin Murphy, Niagara, 68 points
If Keene feels camaraderie with anyone on this list it should be Murphy, who lit up the scoreboards while standing just 5-feet-8-inches tall. Once he got to Houston he became the Pocket Rocket, and it is he, not Hakeem Olajuwon nor James Harden who owns the franchise record for points in a game, with 57.
Jay Handlan, Washington & Lee, 66 points
In an effort that would have even horrified Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson, Handlan took 71 field goal attempts in a game in 1951 against Furman to get his. The field goal attempt record might be the single safest mark in all of sports unless, of course, Iverson or Bryant has a son headed off for college sometime soon.