YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) – Antoine Davis is on the verge of breaking a scoring record once considered untouchable – and in some ways, it still is.
Detroit Mercy’s star guard is 19 points away from surpassing Pete Maravich as the NCAA’s career scoring leader. Davis, who leads the nation with an average of 28.4 points per gameentered Thursday needing 26 to break “Pistol” Pete’s venerable mark that has stood since 1950.
Davis has seven points at halftime in a Horizon League tournament as the eighth-seeded Titans give top-seeded Youngstown State all it can handle. The Titans led 33-29 at halftime.
Wearing a protective mask to protect a broken nose suffered earlier this season in Cincinnati, Davis started slowly in front of a sold-out crowd inside the Beeghly Center on the Youngstown State campus.
The lanky graduate senior missed his first four shots before draining an off-balance jumper from the top of the key with 14:01 left in the half. He followed with a 3-pointer and also made a baseline fadeaway.
Youngstown State’s defense makes it tough on Davis, trapping him at times and face shielding him on a few possessions.
Davis is just 3 of 9 from the field in the first half.
Davis scored 38 Tuesday night in a win over Purdue Fort Wayne to advance the Titans (14-18) and close in on the mark Maravich set as an All-American for LSU from 1967-70.
Just weeks after LeBron James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s career scoring leader, Davis has a chance to top Maravich, the Hall of Famer whose father made him study while learning to play as a child.
A gifted shooter and scorer, the steady 6-foot-1 Davis will have his work cut out for him to break his streak against the Penguins (23-8), who held him to 15 points on Jan. 29 at Youngstown State. He also dropped 32 on them in the first meeting this season.
Davis already holds several NCAA records, including consecutive games in double figures (143) and 3-pointers made (584). He leads Division I with 156 3s this season and is seven shy of breaking Stephen Curry’s record of 162 in a season (2007-08).
If he manages to pass Maravich and make history, the new scoring record will also belong to Davis.
However, this one could use a star – or two.
Davis has scored 3,642 points in 142 games, while it took Maravich just 83 to get 3,667 over three seasons for the Tigers, when he was known as much for a tousled haircut and saggy socks as his wizardry on the court.
Unlike Davis, who was granted a fifth year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maravich did not play as a freshman — it was not allowed at the time — and there was no 3-point line or shot clock, to set a premium on each asset.
It’s shocking to think that Maravich, who died in 1988 at the age of 40 after suffering a heart attack while playing in a pickup game, averaged 44.2 points without taking or making a single 3 points.
But it should also be noted that Maravich attempted 3,166 shots while Davis came in with 2,961.
Along with their scoring proclivity, Davis and Maravich share something else: both played college ball while being coached by their fathers.
Mike Davis has credited losing his job at UAB and moved the family to Houston, where his son, then in high school, trained with former NBA coach John Lucas, changing the trajectory of his playing career.
To supplement his lessons with Lucas, Davis had his son watch instructional videos of Maravich, who had a gift for making dribbling, passing and shooting look easy.
“A lot of times people can do things, but they can’t learn it,” Mike Davis told Yahoo Sports. “Pete could actually learn it. The way he explained how he did things, it was so simple. You didn’t have to be a basketball coach to understand.”
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