THIS DAY IN SPORTS: Before Jack Taylor’s 138 points, there was…

Presented by HARMON TRAVEL.

This Day In Sports…February 13, 1954, 70 years ago today:

On his way to establishing the college basketball records for points in a season and a career, Furman sharpshooter Frank Selvy sinks 41 field goals and 18 free throws to score 100 points in a 149-95 shellacking of Newberry, shattering the NCAA single-game record of 73. Selvy dramatically reached the century mark on a 40-foot attempt with only a couple seconds left in the game. WFBC-TV in Greenville, SC, broadcast the game live, the first such telecast in state history. The station picked a good one (you can find the highlights online). Scoreboards weren’t built for 100-point games from entire teams back then, much less one guy—the board in the gym read “Visitors 95, Furman 49.”

Selvy was so far ahead of his time it’s unfathomable. In 1952-53, a rather low-scoring era in old-school college hoops, Selvy led the nation in scoring with 29.5 points per game. But that was just the beginning. The following season, Selvy broke the single-season record with 1,209 points and averaged 41.7 points, leading the nation for the second straight year. He was the first ever to average more than 40 points per game.

With 2,538 career points, Selvy remains Furman’s all-time leading scorer. And in case you’re wondering, Selvy was indeed good enough to play in the NBA. He was drafted No. 1 overall in 1954 by the Baltimore Bullets. Selvy’s career lasted nine seasons, wrapped around a year away for service in the U.S. Army.  He played 565 NBA games for six different teams and averaged 10.8 points. Selvy was later Furman’s head coach from 1966-70.

Rio Grande’s Clarence “Bevo” Francis would score 113 against Hillsdale College the same season. Those were the top two totals in history until Division III Grinnell College’s Jack Taylor poured in an unimaginable 138 points in a 179-104 win over Faith Baptist Bible in November, 2012. Taylor put up 109 field goal attempts that night and went 27-for-71 from three-point range. He had a 109-point game the following season, but he did not go on to the NBA.  Selvy’s 100, by the way, is the Division I record to this day.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)


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