Culver, a 6-foot-5 senior guard for Wayland Baptist, located in Plainview, Tex., accounted for all but 24 of his team’s points in the Pioneers’ 124-60 win over Southwest Adventist. Culver’s total was the second highest in NAIA history, behind only the 113 scored by Clarence “Bevo” Francis of Rio Grande (Ohio) against Hillsdale (Mich.) in 1954.
“We always script our first couple of plays, and J.J. scored on the first three or four. The guys realized he was hot and kept going to him,” Wayland Baptist Coach Ty Harrelson said (via wbuathletics.com). “We figured as long as he’s taking good shots, and shots out of our philosophy, that he had a chance to do something special tonight.”
The NCAA single-game record for most points by one player is 138, scored by Jack Taylor of Division III Grinnell College in 2012. An NCAA Division I player, Frank Selvy of Furman, scored 100 points against Newberry College in 1954, and the record for most points against a Division I program was set in 1991 when U.S. International’s Kevin Bradshaw dropped 72 on Loyola Marymount.
Culver, who added nine rebounds, five steals, two blocks and an assist Tuesday, boosted his scoring average from an NAIA-leading 28.1 points per game to 36.1. He was an NAIA first-team all-American last season and the Sooner Athletic Conference player of the year. His brother Jarrett earned Big 12 player of the year honors.
“J.J. has awesome offensive talent to be able to put it in the basket that many times, and I thought our guys did a great job of getting him the ball in places where he could score,” Harrelson said. “He did a great job of reading the defense and getting open.”
Wilt Chamberlain authored the NBA’s most legendary single-game scoring feat by reaching 100 points in 1962 as his Philadelphia Warriors defeated the New York Knicks, 169-147. Kobe Bryant has the second-place mark at 81 points, scored for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, while Chamberlain also has the third-highest total (78, scored against the Lakers in 1961).
Culver’s 100 shattered the mark for second-most points in an NAIA game, which was set just over a year ago when Justin Martin of Multnomah (Ore.) University scored 71 against Warner Pacific. On Tuesday, Culver had 51 at halftime (per WBU), topping his previous single-game high this season by 10 points.
“I’ve coached him really hard for four years, so I’m happy for him and proud of him,” Harrelson said of Culver. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer kid and harder worker.”