We all spent most of Sunday getting ready for the biggest game in sports, the Super Bowl. The anticipation builds in the hours before kickoff as we all take our seats at our parties and make sure we have our food and beverages.
What almost got lost in the day was one of the greatest individual performances in the history of college basketball. It came from University of Minnesota senior Rachel Banham.
She was awarded an extra year of eligibility after suffering a knee injury early last year. She intends to make the most of her final season with the Gophers. She took over at Northwestern, scoring 60 points in a 112-106 double overtime win over the Wildcats. The 60 points set a Big Ten single-game record and tied and NCAA record.
What was most impressive is how she did it. Banham scored 20 in the first half, 22 in the second half and 18 in the two overtimes. She was there when her team needed her on every possession. Banham finished 19-of-32 shooting, including 8-of-15 from three-point range and 14-of-16 at the free-throw line.
Inspired by her performance, here are other historic statistical games in basketball.
Wilt Chamberlain Scores 100 Points
It’s one of the few basketball records that will likely never be broken. In 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points on his own as the Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks 169-147. Chamberlain scored 59 of the 100 in the second half of the game. He shot 36-of-63 from the field in the game. Sixty three shots, in one game. He was also 28-of-32 from the free-throw line in the game. It’s still the greatest individual performance in professional basketball history, and it likely won’t be topped.
Kobe Bryant Scores 81 Points In Lakers Win
Many eyes turned to the NBA on the night of Jan. 22, 2006, as Kobe Bryant had a night to remember. He’s always been a scorer, but what he did against the Toronto Raptors that night will go down as one of the greatest single-game performances in NBA history. He scored 81 points, shooting 28-of-46 from the field, including 7–of-13 from three-point range and 18-of-20 at the free-throw line. When somebody is in the zone like that, it’s fun to watch. He’s second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962.
Klay Thompson 37-Point Quarter
There’s being in the zone, and there’s what Klay Thompson did on Jan. 24, 2015, against the Sacramento Kings. Thompson, a star guard for the Golden State Warriors, tied an NBA record with 37 points in the third quarter of the game. He finished with 50, but it was how he got the 37 points in one quarter that was most impressive. He was a perfect 13-of-13 from the field, including nine 3-pointers and made two free throws. He scored 19 straight at one point, and the only other Golden State players to score in the quarter were Steph Curry and Draymond Green, who had two each. His 37 points tied Carmelo Anthony’s mark back in 2008.
Kevin Love 31-Point, 31-Rebound Game
If you went to the Timberwolves game against the Knicks on Nov. 12, 2010, you witnessed history. Kevin Love is now a distant memory for the Timberwolves, but he gave fans a special night and a taste of history in a 112-103 win that night. Love scored 31 points and grabbed 31 rebounds for the first 30-30 game in the NBA in 28 years. He shot 11-of-26 from the field, including 8-of-10 at the free-throw line. He had 19 defensive and 12 offensive rebounds in the win. It was a historic night in what was otherwise just another regular season game.
Those performances give a perspective of where you can put Banham’s 60-point game. But what makes Banham’s night even better? All she cared about when it was over was that her team won.