By Luke Meredith
Sunday, December 9, 2007 10:15 PM
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The points kept coming, and so did the assists.
David N. Arseneault shattered the NCAA assists record when he had 34 in Grinnell College's 151-112 win over North Central University of Minnesota in a Division III game Saturday.
The previous record of 26 was set in 1989 by Robert James of Division III Kean University. The Division I record of 22 was achieved by three players, including current Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson at Southern University in 1988 and Sherman Douglas of Syracuse in 1989.
Grinnell, in central Iowa, is known for a unique style of play that includes rotating five players in and out as often as possible, pressing the entire game and shooting more than 50 3-pointers.
On Saturday, coach David M. Arseneault, the guard's father, planned to take a different tack by playing two of his best offensive players, John Grotberg and Keith Chamberlain, in 10-minute shifts to see how many points they could score.
When Arseneault had 14 assists by halftime, the team shifted its focus.
Arseneault, Grinnell's career leader in assists, broke the record with 7:33 left to play.
"I didn't even think it was possible. That's just so many assists that I thought there was no way," Arseneault said. "I had fun during every minute of the game."
Grotberg finished with 49 points, going 14-of-38 from 3-point range, and Chamberlain finished with 39 points and 14 rebounds.
Arseneault had 22 points and doubled his previous career high for assists. His father felt the total could have been higher, noting the Pioneers were just 23-of-86 from 3-point range off passes from his son.
"We didn't shoot the ball all that well yesterday," the coach said.