The goal was to get Jack Taylor out of a shooting slump. He did that. Then he went out and scored the most points ever in a college basketball game.

Taylor, a Black River Falls High School graduate, is about to get his 15 minutes of national fame after scoring an NCAA-record 138 points for Grinnell College in a 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible College on Tuesday night in Grinnell, Iowa.

“It’s been pretty crazy,” Taylor said from a phone in the Grinnell athletic offices more than an hour after the game ended. “I think I’m going to be here for a while.”

He made national headlines, with ESPN.com, USA Today and the New York Times picking up the Associated Press story. He was trending on Twitter and even got a shoutout from NBA star Kevin Durant.

“They tell me it’s going to get really crazy,” said Taylor, whose cell phone went dead not long after the news started to spread. “I think reality will set in soon.”

Taylor, who played a year at UW-La Crosse before transferring to Grinnell, was 52-for-108 from the field and made 27 of 71 3-pointers. He had 80 points in the second half and played 35 minutes.

The previous NCAA record was held by Clarence “Bevo” Francis, who scored 113 points in a 1954 game for Division II Rio Grande.

The 27 3-pointers made also is a record, breaking the mark set by Sami Wylie of Lincoln (Pa.) in 2006.

Grinnell is a Division III school that plays a unique style of basketball focused on shooting as many 3-pointers as possible. It’s called “The System,” and involves shooting 3-pointers as soon in the shot clock as possible, crashing the offensive boards to get more 3-point looks and pressing all over the floor on defense in hopes of forcing turnovers or forcing the opponent to shoot quickly.

But even for Grinnell, this is unique.

Taylor and coach David Arsenault didn’t come into Tuesday’s game with the intent of setting records.

Taylor was 6-for-34 on 3-pointers to start the season — “I shot the ball terribly,” Taylor said — and while he averaged 23.5 points in those two games and Grinnell won both, Arsenault knew Taylor could do better.

“We came in with a game plan after last weekend to leave him on the floor and rotate groups of four around him,” said Arsenault, whose unique system of basketball involves hockey-like line shifts of five players at a time. “He got off to a cold start, might have missed his first three or four shots.

“Then he started to heat up.”

Taylor had 58 points at halftime — he thought he only had 30 or 35 until coaches told him otherwise — and didn’t know where he was at in the second half.

“The goal was to just kind of ride the wave and keep feeding me the ball,” he said. “I’m so fortunate to have the teammates I do to sacrifice their own statistics for me. I appreciate it.”

Taylor, a two-time member of the All-Tribune first team as a Tiger, said his legs were more tired than his arms, and he was feeling gassed at the end of the game.

Arsenault said he thought about giving Taylor a break.

“Right about the time when we were wondering if he needed to come out, he’d make a bunch in a row,” Arsenault said.

Griffin Lentsch scored 89 points in a game last season for Grinnell. He’s a senior on this year’s team, but had just seven points in 14 minutes on Tuesday.

That was done on the road, Arsenault said, and the home crowd of approximately 1,000 people enjoyed every minute of it.

“He had an incredible stretch in the middle end of the second half where he made seven or eight 3-pointers in a row,” Arsenault said. “Each one was more and more difficult to the point of being ridiculous.

“It was a special moment for it to happen in front of his parents and in front of his girlfriend.”

Taylor averaged 20.7 points per game at Black River Falls. After graduating in 2009, he attended Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania before enrolling at UW-La Crosse, where he averaged 7.0 points in 27 games off the bench. He made 39.4 percent of his 3-pointers.

He transferred to Grinnell to play in an offense like this.

“One of my friends Aaron Epps (Black River Falls native) played here and told me about the offense,” Taylor said. “I thought it fit my style of game. It’s what I came here do to.”

And while nobody thought Taylor would break an NCAA record in his third game with the Pioneers, Arsenault knew he was getting a prolific scorer in Taylor, who once scored 48 points in a high school game at Black River Falls.

“He’s certainly capable of leading the nation in scoring,” Arsenault said. “We had that conversation before the season. That’s what he’s capable of, he can score with the best of them.”

(19) comments

Mr Grouch

google division 3 basketball and read the article by Barry Petchesky about this game.
It'll be an eyeopener about Grinnell basketball.
Will the trib report that Taylor scored 21 points in their next game against Wm Penn?
Grinnell lost to a team that is 11-0 big difference from an 0-8 team.

moss_is_still_boss
moss_is_still_boss

really putting the "I" in sportsmanship.....if i coached faith baptist, mr. taylor would not have been able to finish the game.

AK

Your comment also puts the "I" in sportsmanship. Btw Moss is definitely not a boss.

moss_is_still_boss
moss_is_still_boss

basketball is a sport for sissy girls

Mr Grouch

Just wondering why the Tribune didn't report that Jack scored 11 & 16 points in
Grinnell's first 2 games. Wasn't that worthy enough to report on a local athlete
outside of LaCrosse playing college ball?
The Tribune also failed to mention that Faith Baptist is now 0-8 for the season.

lutefisk

Grinnell has been criticized for running what they call "the system". Some say it bastardizes the game...well that ship has sailed. ..Good for Grinnell to switch up the game

Buggs Raplin

Yawn.

GrandpaS

Boy, it just kills some people to see somebody else shine, doesn't it? On MSN's home page, even LeBron James stood up and took notice. Young Mr. Taylor kicked some butt and set a record that will stand for decades. BRF, you can walk proud. This is a once--in-a-lifetime achievement. Mind boggling. Unbelievable.

As far as whether Jack deserved the chance to go after this or not, read Medic911's comment. He DID deserve it. End of story.

ExBadger

Wouldn't happen if he was playing in the big leagues....nobody gives a d**# about Grinnell.

Medic911

As someone who has known Jack and his family for many years, I can say with 1000% certainty that this is something well deserved and hard earned. Jack has spent more hours that you can imagine working on his game. I remember many days when he would arrive to the fitness center where I worked at 4:30am to get a court before anyone else arrived and would practice his game until it was time to go to school, or he would be in the weight room doing cardio and lifting weights. The man is fortunate to have teammates who were selfless enough to assist Jack in making this happen. Having watched Jack play basketball for many years, ball hog he is not. Team player, team leader, phenomial player, excellent shot, he is. Jack is wonderful kid who deserves all of our well wishes for a job well done and hard earned. WAY TO GO JACK!!! You make us all proud!!

Mobley

Having watched this young man play in Coulee Conference games throughout the past years, we're proud of him. He may have played for a rival high school team, but you learn to appreciate good players no matter what jersey they wear. He deserves his time in the spotlight. He's in college! He's playing a game! He's having fun, and his team won! He's doing everything that we want young men and women to do in a responsible manner. He's not out breaking laws or selling drugs. He's in school excelling in a sport he loves. Congrats to a former high school star who has found his niche!

hougie

Nice kid/family or not I say ball hog!? Couldnt do it in the wiac so transferred to grinnel.
Grinnel is about as low a level of college ball you will find. Its impressive but basketball is a 5 man sport last I checked. Not taking away from his record im just saying I dont like the record...what does it tell youth? Jack as many threes as you get your hands on?

Hockeydad

So how do you feel about the WIS BADGERS basically losing to Ohio State trying to get Monte Ball the NCAA touchdown record? He racked up a lot of TD's vs some pretty poor NCAA Football teams along the way. Records like this happen at all levels, but they do require some luck/talent/perseverance. Give the kid his day.

TDK_std

Way to go Jack Taylor....ENJOY the moment...there will be lots of critics out there (local and national) justifying their point of view why you should have and should not have been allowed to score 138. Monumental achievement...

citygirl

I've met him and his family. Great people. Well done. Huge congratulations. WOW!

Hockeydad

Give the young man credit. This was college basketball not some pick-up game. Often when marks are on the line, coaches/teammates grant some leaway. If you watch the video, he was gaurded, but his shots were pretty amazing.

Also, always good to see "local boy does good".
Congrat to Mr. Taylor.

Tonga

You couldn't score that many points in 10 games loser (ABCDEFG)!

Snippy Dinosaur

"Given 108 shots in a game, I could score that many points too."

Yeah, but you didn't, he did. Scoreboard.

ABCDEFG

At first I was excited, then became disgusted. First off they won by 75 points. Second, Taylor shot a measly 38% on 3s. Given 108 shots in a game, I could score that many points too. Doesn't basketball ettiquette say run the clock out at the end of the game too? Taylor said his legs felt tired. He should just be glad someone didn't take his legs out on one of his 108 attempts.

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