CHICAGO It took four overtime periods for senior guard Ryan Toolson to score a school-record 63 points and lead the Utah Valley University men's basketball team (10-8) to a 123-121 win at Chicago State (11-11) on Thursday on the Cougars' home floor.
The game was billed as a matchup between two of the nation's leading scorers, Toolson and Chicago State's David Holston. Toolson had 42 points in regulation and played all 60 minutes in the game. His 63-point performance is the highest total for any NCAA Division I player in the nation this season, and his last two points of the game came with 2.3 seconds left on the clock for the win. Holston finished with 41 points in the game and fouled out in the first overtime. Holston's teammate John Cantrell also had 40 points in the game.
"This was a wonderful game," UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker said. "I'm so happy for our players. I feel bad for Chicago State, and it's a shame both teams couldn't have won tonight. Ryan Toolson was incredible. It's a thrill and an honor to be a part of this game."
Five Wolverines finished in double figures in the historic game. Junior guard Tyray Petty scored 15 points, junior forward Jordan Swarbrick scored 13, junior forward Jourdain Scoubes had 12, and senior guard Josh Olsen finished with 10.
Not only did Toolson score 63 points, but he also had 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and chipped in six assists. He also finished the game 20-of-21 from the free-throw line.
Toolson kept the Wolverines in the game in the first half nearly single-handedly. Utah Valley fell behind by as many as 10 points in the opening period, but Toolson scored 19 points and pulled down six rebounds to lead his team to a complete comeback in the half.
The Wolverines took a one-point lead at 29-28 thanks to two Toolson free throws, and went to the locker room down only two points at 34-36.
The Wolverines built up their own 12-point lead in the second half, but Chicago State was able to come from nine points down in the final three
minutes to tie the game and send it to the first overtime.
The two teams traded shots throughout all four overtime periods. Toolson put up a 3-point shot at the end of the second overtime on which he was fouled. He would have gone to the line with less than a second left on the clock and the score tied at 104-104, but the referee blew the whistle and ruled that the foul was after the buzzer.
As it was, play continued for two more over time periods. At the end of regulation, the score was tied at 79-79. It was then tied at 91-91 after one overtime, 104-104 after two OTs, and 114-114 after three before UVU pulled out the 123-121 win at the end of the fourth overtime.
Utah Valley will remain on the road and head west to play at Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, with tipoff set for 3 p.m. MST.