College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 8, 2014
There were more than 135 Division I college basketball games on Saturday, but it didn't take long to find the one which contained the best individual player performance.
Melvin Ejim scored more than half of his team's points as the Iowa State Cyclones rocked TCU, 84-69. Ejim, a 6'6" senior from Toronto, poured in a career-high 48 points, setting a Big 12 record for points in a single game, and also notched a career-best in rebounding, with 18.
Going 20-for-24 from the field, 6-for-6 from the foul line, and 2-for-2 from three-point range, Ejim was about as good as one can get in 35 minutes of floor time. His 18 boards included six on the offensive glass, to go with two steals and an assist.
Ejim's big game matched the high-point total for the season. On December 18, Texas Southern's Aaric Murray had 48, matched by Tyler Haws of BYU on January 23.
The Big 12 record was previously held by a pair of Kansas State players. Michael Beasley scored 44 in February 2008, matched by teammate Denis Clemente in January of the following season.
So massive was Ejim's scoring outburst, that it increased his average from 18.3 to 19.8. The number was more than twice his season-high of 22, which he's put up five times this season, including each of the previous two games. Ejim, who has scored in double figures in all 20 games he's played this season, notched his eighth double-double and third in a row.
Ranked 17th nationally, Iowa State improved to 18-4 overall, and 6-4 in the conference.
Elsewhere, on a jam-packed afternoon and evening of college hoops, #4 Wichita State went on the road to top Northern Iowa, 82-73, giving the Shockers their 25th straight win without a loss and a 12-0 mark in the Missouri Valley conference. #7 Cincinnati had their 15-game winning streak rudely snapped at home, falling to SMU, 76-55. The Mustangs shot 54%, while holding the Bearcats to 35%, improving to 19-5 and 8-3 in the American Athletic under head coach Larry Brown.
#17 Iowa upset #10 Michigan, 85-67; Kansas State mauled #15 Texas, 74-57; and, #19 Oklahoma State fell to Texas Tech, 65-61.
#3 Florida, #5 San Diego State, #8 Kansas, #11 Duke, #13 St. Louis and #18 Kentucky were all winners. #24 Memphis knocked off #23 Gonzaga, 60-54.