Wolters drops D-I best 53 points
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Nate Wolters’ text message from his father, Roger, helped sum up one the best performances in college basketball this season.
“Good grief!” his father, Roger, wrote him after South Dakota State’s 80-74 win over IPFW on Thursday night in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Wolters scored a Division I-best 53 points and connected on a school-record nine three-pointers. The 6-4 guard went 9 for 14 from beyond the arc, 17 for 28 overall and 10 for 11 at the free-throw line.
“I didn’t realize how many I had until after the game, it’s tough to explain. I was definitely feeling it,” Wolters said by phone late Thursday night. “The scoring came in such a barrage at the end. When I heard it was 53, I was like ‘whoa.’ ”
Wolters, who’s gained national interest as one of the top points guards in the country in the past two seasons, called it a “team win” but it was his sluggish teammates who watched him fall into a zone that hasn’t been seen in the NCAA since 2009.
No Division I player has scored more than 50 points this season. There was of course a 138-point performance in Division III by Grinnell College marksman Jack Taylor. When asked if he was in a Jack Taylor-like zone, Wolters was humble.
“He’s probably a lot better shooter than me,” Wolters said. “I remember seeing it and being like, ‘that can’t be right.’ Now I know when you’re scoring like that, you’re kind of unconscious.”
So who’d win in a game of horse between D-III’s scoring sensation or D-I’s best scorer this season?
“I have no clue, but if he wanted to play, I’d be game,” Wolters said, chuckling.
Unlike Taylor’s epic scoring outburst that featured little defense and Grinnell leading for most of the game, South Dakota State (19-6, 10-2 Summit League) needed all of those 53 points to overcome an 11-point deficit and pull off the victory. The Jackrabbits didn’t take their first lead until the 1:47-minute mark of the second half.
“What happened tonight is the result of a lot of time in the gym for … [For more on Nate Wolters scores D-I best 53 points, challenges 138-point scorer Jack Taylor, click here.]