|ESPN.com: Men's College Basketball||[Print without images]|
Grinnell's Jack Taylor didn't just amend the NCAA's record books when he scored 138 points -- a new collegiate high mark -- in his team's 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible Tuesday night. The Division III star wrote a new chapter.
"There was a point during the second half where I hit a number of threes in a row -- maybe seven or eight -- I felt like anything I threw up was going in," Taylor said. "I've been in the zone before but I've never taken so many shots."
Bevo Francis of Rio Grande held the NCAA scoring record with 113 points against Hillsdale in 1954. In 1953, Francis had 116 against Ashland Junior College. Frank Selvy is the only other player to reach triple figures, scoring 100 points for Division I Furman against Newberry in 1954.
The previous Grinnell record was 89 by Griffin Lentsch last Nov. 19 against Principia.
Taylor said he entered the locker room at halftime under the assumption he'd racked up 30 points in the first half. But when head coach David Arseneault whipped out the first-half stat sheet, he realized he was mistaken.
"Coach walked in with a stat sheet and said I had 58," Taylor said. "You could see the team's eyes light up."
By the end of the night, Taylor was 52-for-108 (27-for-71 from the 3-point line) and he'd established a new collegiate record.
Before his squad took the floor Tuesday night, Taylor met with a few teammates for a pregame devotional. It was the first time that Taylor, a sophomore at the Division III school, had ever read Bible verses with other players prior to tipoff.
They focused on Matthew 25, a chapter that features a parable about the value of talents.
"I gotta thank the man upstairs," Taylor said. "I was able to multiply my talents tonight."
Taylor wasn't the only star of the game. Faith Baptist Bible's David Larson scored 70 points (34-for-44). But the two didn't discuss their parallel shooting success during the game, Taylor said.
"We definitely made it a focus to stop him," he said. "There wasn't any interaction."
Taylor said his previous scoring high at any level was a 48-point effort for Black River Falls High School in Black River Falls, Wis.
Taylor transferred to Grinnell after competing for UW-La Crosse last season. He said he liked Arseneault's system.
Before Tuesday's mind-boggling performance, Taylor said he worked on his shot more than he had in the past. On Sunday and Monday, Taylor said, he took a "couple 100" shots before practice. Taylor had made just 11 of 41 shots entering Tuesday's game, struggles that inspired those extra reps.
It all paid off against Faith Baptist Bible.
"I was able to, I guess, find my shot again," Taylor said.
That's clearly an understatement.
Taylor credited his teammates for their "unselfishness" throughout the record-setting outing. He said he was proud that his mother, father and girlfriend, who all traveled from Wisconsin, saw the game.
They, like him, were in shock.
"I don't think it's settled in yet," he said.
Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks were amazed by Taylor's feat when they heard about it after their victory in New Orleans.
"I never heard of nothing like that. That's like a video game," Anthony said, an incredulous look on his face. "How can you shoot 100 times, though?"
He joked that from now on when someone asks if he's taking too many shots, he'll mention "that someone shot it 108 times."
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant also was astounded by the 108 shots.
"Jack Taylor you deserve a shot of Jack Daniels after that performance lol...wow," Durant tweeted.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.