Entering Tuesday night's game against Louisiana College, Lamar's Mike James had played seven games at the Division I level. The JC transfer was averaging 10.7 points and 15.3 minutes per game since transferring from Eastern Arizona College. It was a nice start to his career at the small Texas school, but certainly not one that had garnered any national attention.
Then Tuesday night happened.
In a 114-62 win over Division III Louisiana College, James came off the bench, as he has in all eight games this season. Only this time he scored 52 points.
Yes, 52 points.
In just 28 minutes.
The 52 points broke a school record that had stood for 30 years. Of those 52, 37 were scored in the second half. Overall, James was 18-of-35 from the field and 11-of-21 from 3.
According to ESPN Stats & Information (i.e. our Research department, i.e. the department that keeps ESPN running), it was the most points scored by any bench player since Roderic Hall of fellow Southland member Texas-San Antonio also scored 52 in a win over Maine on Dec. 6, 1997. The most this season had been from Kentucky freshman Doron Lamb, who notched 32 against Winthrop.
Most Points Off the Bench, Last 15 Seasons
52 -- Mike James, Lamar (2011)
52 -- Roderic Hall, Texas-San Antonio (1997)
43 -- Mike Singletary, Texas Tech (2009)
42 -- J.B. Conley, Texas State (2010)
42 -- Cavel Witter, Creighton (2008)
Interesting to note that four of the five players on that list play(ed) in the state of Texas. Three are from the Southland Conference.
Here's another fun one from our friends at Research:
Most Points in 28 Minutes or Fewer, Last 15 Seasons
52 -- Mike James, Lamar (2011), 28 minutes
48 -- Ed Gray, California (1997), 25 minutes
45 -- Reggie Williams, VMI (2006), 24 minutes
44 -- Okechi Egbe, UT Martin (2000), 24 minutes
43 -- Stephen Curry, Davidson (2009), 27 minutes
43 -- Brian Burke, Lafayette (2002), 28 minutes
And one more to show how James' performance stacks up against other prolific efforts this season:
Most Points in Division I Game, This Season
52 -- Mike James (Lamar) vs. Louisiana College
44 -- Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure) vs Ohio in 4OT
43 -- D.J. Cooper (Ohio) vs. St. Bonaventure in 4OT
43 -- LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor) vs. Morgan State
Many thanks to ESPN Researchers Gregg Found, Nick Loucks and Jason McCallum, the brains behind all the numbers.