The Untouchables is a 10-part series spotlighting college basketball's most unbreakable records. Up next is No. 7: Loyola Marymount's 186 points in a single game.
When an NCAA staffer asked Dale Marini for input on how to improve the format of college basketball's official scorebook in the late 1980s, the Loyola Marymount scorekeeper responded with more of a plea than a suggestion.
He urged the NCAA to make score sheets that went beyond 110 points because the quick-strike Lions routinely roared past that mark with ease.
"I was writing in the margins, in the borders, all over the place," Marini recalled with a chuckle. "I was doing everything imaginable to try to keep up."
New score sheets introduced the following year went up to 139 points, but that still often wasn't enough to chronicle LMU's assault on the record books. Under run-and-gun guru Paul Westhead and successor Jay Hillock, the Lions blitzed opponents for 140 or more points 20 times from 1986 to 1991 and elevated the Division I single-game scoring record to a level that will be difficult for anyone else to challenge.
The most unfathomable part of the record point total LMU piled up Jan. 5, 1991 in a 186-140 shellacking of U.S. International is the Lions left frustrated they didn't score more. They thought 200 was within reach that night after rolling to 150 or more points in their previous four matchups with the San Diego-based Division I lightweight, which ran the same revved-up system as the Lions.
"You can ask nine or 10 guys who played in that game, and there was more disappointment than anything else that we didn't get to 200," LMU forward Tom Peabody said. "That really was the thought process going in. After scoring 181 the previous year against USIU, we thought we were still at a level where, even though we didn't have the same horses, there was no reason we couldn't score 200." (more...)