Now Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes’ name can be etched into sports lore alongside the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant and “Pistol” Pete Maravich.
They’re on a short list of players to get into such an offensive “zone” that their performances led to memorable scoring outbursts.
Rathan-Mayes, a little-known freshman guard from Canada, erupted for 30 points in the final 4:38 in Wednesday’s failed comeback at Miami.
“It was a crazy feeling just to be locked into a zone like that,” Rathan-Mayes said Thursday. “I was telling my dad earlier that I’d never been in a zone like that.”
He went 8-for-10 from the field, 6-for-8 from 3-point range and 8-for-9 at the foul line during his flurry, all while checking in and out of the game late due to foul trouble. He almost single-handedly erased an 18-point deficit before FSU lost 81-77.
Rathan-Mayes, who came in averaging 13.6 points, finished with 35 points to tie his own program freshman record set in last month’s loss at North Carolina. He also passed Bob Sura for FSU’s single-season freshman scoring record during the game.
Coach Leonard Hamilton said he was so disappointed with the loss it took time to realize what Rathan-Mayes had done.
“I hadn’t (immediately) accepted the fact that I’d just witnessed a youngster do something that is extremely rare,” Hamilton said.
In a tip of the hat to Rathan-Mayes’ big game, here’s a look at some other memorable scoring outbursts:
WILT’S 100: The points had better come in bunches to hit 100 in a game. And that’s exactly what Wilt Chamberlain did in March 1962. During a scoring performance that still stands as the NBA’s best, Chamberlain followed a 28-point third quarter by scoring 31 in the fourth on 12-for-21 shooting along with going 7-for-10 at the line, according to STATS. He played all 48 minutes in the 169-147 win against New York.
BRYANT’S 81: Kobe Bryant came the closest to Wilt’s 100 in January 2006 with 81 points. The Los Angeles Lakers star scored 55 points after halftime, racking up 27 points on 11-for-15 shooting in the third quarter and 28 more in the fourth. Bryant finished 28-for-46 from the field, 7-for-13 from 3-point range, and 18-for-20 at the foul line.
PISTOL PETE: No one in college basketball ever scored like “Pistol” Pete Maravich. The LSU guard still holds the NCAA’s career record with 3,667 points and 44.2-point career average. In a career filled with 50- and 60-point games, Maravich’s best output came in February 1970 at Alabama, where he went for 69 points — 47 after halftime — on 26-for-57 shooting along with going 17-for-21 on free throws in the 106-104 loss.
MILLER TIME: Hard to believe, but May marks 20 years since Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller singlehandedly pulled off a shocking comeback. With his team trailing by six in Game 1 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference semifinals, Miller scored eight points in the final 18.7 seconds to beat the New York Knicks 107-105 in Madison Square Garden. After hitting a 3 over John Starks, Miller stole the ensuing inbounds pass, took a quick dribble to step behind the arc and buried another 3 to tie it with 13.2 seconds left. Then after Starks missed two free throws, Miller was fouled on a rebound and hit two free throws for the lead with 7.5 seconds left. The always-talkative Miller walked off the MSG court in defiant celebration yelling “Choke artists!” and sealing the moment in NBA playoff lore.
SLEEPY’S MARK — It isn’t Bryant or Michael Jordan who own the NBA playoff record for scoring in a half and a quarter. It’s Eric “Sleepy” Floyd. In the 1987 playoffs, Floyd set records with 29 points and 12 field goals in a quarter, as well as 39 points in a half for Golden State in a Western Conference semifinals win against the Lakers. In the years since, there have been players to flirt with those marks — Detroit’s Isiah Thomas scored a Finals-record 25 points in a quarter in 1988 on an injured ankle — but Floyd still holds them.
AP freelance writer Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed to this report.
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