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Div. III player's record 138-point night sparks reaction
Grinnell College guard Jack Taylor (3) shoots during the game against Faith Baptist Bible College at Darby Gymnasium. (Cory Hall-USA TODAY Sports)
Grinnell College point guard Jack Taylor scored 138 points Tuesday night in a performance that shattered the NCAA single-game scoring record.
His school also won, defeating Faith Baptist Bible 179-104 in an NCAA Division III contest.
Playing for the 1,655-student school in Grinnell, Iowa, Taylor took 108 shots in 36 minutes of play.
"I gotta thank the man upstairs," Taylor told ESPN.com. "I was able to multiply my talents tonight."
The 5-10 sophomore guard became only the third player to score more than 100 points in an NCAA game. The previous single-game NCAA record was set by Rio Grande's Bevo Francis with 113 points against Hillside in 1954. Francis also scored 116 against Ashland Junior College in 1954. And Frank Selvy scored 100 points for Furman in 1954 against Newberry.
The NBA record for points in a game is 100, set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962
Just as astounding, Taylor scored 80 points in the second half Tuesday night. Overall, he made 52 of 108 field goals, including 27 of 71 3-pointers.
"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," said Taylor, who transferred to Grinnell from Wisconsin-Lacrosse last year. "I've been in the zone before but I've never taken so many shots."
Faith Baptist's leading score wasn't too shabby, either. David Larson scored 70 points, making 34 of 44 field goals.
NBA players reacted in amazement to the incredible 138-point.
Taylor became an overnight sensation, doing interviews with ESPN and on Wednesday morning with the Today show. The college athletic department received requests from as far as Australia.
"I don't think reality has set in yet," Taylor said after the game.
Count Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant among the impressed.
"That's crazy," he said. I don't care what level you're at, you score 138 points, it's pretty insane."
Bryant can sort of relate. He scored 81 points in a 2006 game.
"You gotta be in shape," he said.
Bryant was just as impressed with the number of 3-point shots taken by Taylor. When he heard Taylor launched 71 3-pointers, Bryant said, "Holy s---. How many points did they score as a team?" When told 179, Bryant said, "That's incredible."
Miami Heat star LeBron James was so awed that he said he wanted to watch a replay of the game.
"It's unbelievable, honestly," James said. "I would like to see the game. I want to see the game.
I watched Kobe's game when he had 81. I watched some of the greatest games ever played when guys scored big numbers. There's two games that I would love to see: One was Wilt (Chamberlain), when he had 100, and this kid, I want to see him, too. Sir Jack."
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said of Taylor's feat: "I never heard of nothing like that. That's like a video game. How can you shoot 100 times, though?"
Oklahoma City center Cole Aldrich added on Twitter: "138 points is impressive, but I think shooting 108 times is more impressive."