Source: USA TODAY
Grinnell College star Jack Taylor couldn’t help but smile Sunday after his latest mind-bending scoring effort brought the 951 fans in Darby Gymnasium to their feet to cheer him on.
Taylor’s break-the-box-score act never seems to get old.
The junior guard, who burst onto the college basketball scene a season ago with an NCAA record-shattering 138-point performance, cracked the century mark again with 109 points during a 173-123 home victory against Crossroads College.
“It felt exactly like last year,” Taylor said in a postgame telephone interview.
Taylor, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound recruit from Black River Falls, Wis., entered the national spotlight by scoring 138 points against Faith Baptist Bible College on Nov. 20, 2012.
He opened this season with a 71-point outburst against visiting Finlandia on Friday. Turns out Taylor was merely warming up.
Taylor etched his name in the record books again by shooting 35-of-70 from the field, including 24-of-48 from three-point range. He made 15-of-17 free-throw attempts to finish with 109 points, the third-most in NCAA history.
Only Taylor’s landmark performance last year and Clarence “Bevo” Francis’ old mark of 113 in 1954 stand ahead of him.
“Tonight, we just wanted my shot to kind of come in the flow of the offense with catch-and-shoot type plays,” Taylor said.
Even with multiple defenders eying him, Taylor kept finding the bottom of the basket.
“For stretches tonight, it really was just him, the ball and the basket,” Grinnell associate coach David Arseneault Jr. said.
He could have done more damage, but Taylor departed with 5:32 to play, his teammates waiting for him on the bench with more hugs and high fives — just like last November.
“They’re just unbelievable,” Taylor said of his teammates.
Could he have surpassed 138 points had he stayed in?
“I don’t think so,” Taylor said with a chuckle.
Tommy Birch writes for the Des Moines Register.