By Harry Cummins
November 10, 2018. There may never be another basketball game quite like it! It certainly deserves a preeminent place in the pantheon of small college basketball lore.
On that noteworthy night in Portland, Oregon, the Multnomah University Lions hosted a free-wheeling 147-124 win over neighboring Pacific University. By halftime, the Lions were shooting 65% and had amassed 89 points, the 3rd highest points ever recorded for a single half of basketball in NAIA history.
The fun was just starting. To paraphrase Jane Austin – “We were all in the middle before we knew what was really happening.”
Here, then, is a summation of the statistical smorgasbord that left all fans in attendance satiated:
> Multnomah made 23 of their first 37 attempts from 3 point range, finishing the game with an NAIA record 38 3-pt baskets!
> Lions teammates Zach Richardson and Justin Martin combined for 27 of those 38 3’s. Richardson, a freshman, converted 13 of 23 from long-range, while Martin, who would go on to lead the NAIA in scoring the next two seasons, made 14 of 28 from distance, at the time the second most single game made 3’s in NAIA history. Martin also registered 9 assists on the night.
> Both Richardson and Martin scored an unfathomable 49 points each in the game, despite both exiting the game early. Richardson departed with 2:41 left, while Martin headed to the bench with 1:05 remaining. Two 50 point scorers on the same team in the same game. Almost!!!
> Multnomah guard Briggs Young, who was leading the nation in assists coming into the game,padded his lead with 18 more assists on this historic night.
> Lions Senior forward Ben Grandle canned a corner 3 just .32 seconds into the game and then book-ended the scoring with his teams 38th and final 3 of the night with 3:23 left in the game. The Lions would go scoreless the rest of the contest.. Grandle had 15 points and 13 rebounds on the night, his 4th “double-double” in his last 5 games.
> Lost in the statistical onslaught, was the performance of Multnomah’s Brett Blackstock. His line for the night was perhaps the most impressive of all. 27 points. 7 three’s. 7 assists. 6 rebounds. 4 blocked shots. 3 steals!
> The two teams combined for 49 three-point baskets for the game, and 271 points, both all-time NAIA marks.
> On December 13, 1983, in the highest scoring game in NBA history, Kiki Vandeweghe scored 51 points and Nuggets teammate Alex English added 47 in a contest that extended for 3 overtimes. It remains the highest combined point total (98) by teammates who both score over 40 points in the same game. They each played 50 minutes in that game. In their combined 98 point elite pairing, Zach Richardson played just 37 minutes. Justin Martin registered 39 minutes.
The Multnomah, Pacific shoot-out of 2018 was the kind of game that brings fans of the sport back for more. Unfortunately, with Covid-19 still fast-breaking the globe, our arenas sit empty. Zach Richardson awaits his junior season. The rest of us wait for the sport’s uncertain return as well.
Until then, thanks for the memory!!
Be sure to catch all of Harry’s articles on Craws Corner