Baylor sets a school record after team captain Jim Harney spurs him on.
Seattle University star Elgin Baylor was unstoppable on Jan. 30, 1958.
He scored a school-record 60 points, with 22 of them coming in the final nine minutes as Seattle University overcame a 79-60 deficit to beat Portland 94-91.
And it all happened after Baylor was needled by team captain Jim Harney.
“Prior to the game, we were suiting up, I said to, ‘Elgin how come you were so good in high school and you’re not that good in college?’ and he says, ‘What do you mean?’ ” Harney said. “I said, ‘In high school, you averaged about 32 points a game. Now in college, you’re still only averaging 32 points a game. In high school, games are 32 minutes, and now they’re 40 minutes, so you should be averaging 40.’ ”
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Baylor took the bait.
“He said, ‘Well, in high school, we ran an offense,’ ” Harney said. “I said, ‘Oh yeah, what was it?’ He said, ‘I’d go to the corner and they’d give me the ball. And if they were on me, I’d drive, and if they were off me, I’d shoot.’ And I said, ‘We could do that.’ ”
Harney told Baylor that if he couldn’t get the ball to him in the post as part of the regular offense, then to go to the corner.
“I told him I’d get him ball in the corner, and I’d get the hell to the other side of the floor, and everybody else would be there too,” Harney said. “And we did it. And we did it for the rest of the year.”
And it worked. Baylor said he had no idea he had 60 points until afterward. But the team needed almost every one of those points.
“I really never thought about the points until afterward,” said Baylor, who just finished writing a book called Hang Time: My Life in Basketball. “I just played as hard as I could and tried to everything I could do to win.”