The game of the week was supposed to have taken place last night, with previously-undefeated #3-ranked Baylor visiting #7 Kansas. Unfortunately for everyone not bleeding crimson and blue, the Jayhawks took a 10-point lead at halftime, and coasted to an 18 point victory.
That got us wondering — when was the last time two teammates both scored 25 points in leading their school to a win in such a big game, against such a tough opponent?
25 Point Pairs Are More Common Than You Might Think
Two players on the same team scoring 25 points happens fairly often. In fact, just last night, Seattle’s Aaron Broussard scored 34 while his teammate Sterling Carter notched 26 in leading the Redhawks to a win over Eastern Washington. That was the 22nd example this season.
But Taylor and Robinson accomplished the feat against a Baylor team that hadn’t lost a game all year. And this wasn’t some early December 6-0 record; the Bears had made it all the way to 16-0. [You might read 17-0 other places, but we count only games against Division I opponents here.]
Not only that, but Scott Drew’s troops knew that this was one of the key games of the year, and a building block towards the Big 12 title, so the scoring outburst shouldn’t have been the result of Baylor looking past the game or underestimating their opponent. This was two players coming up huge in a marquee matchup.
To find similar elite performances, we dug into our database.
But Doing It Against Elite Competition Is Rare
Defining a “big game” is a bit subjective, but we settled on any game in conference play or the NCAA tournament where both schools entered with a winning percentage of 75% or better, and where the losing team was from a BCS conference. That knocks out early season tilts involving teams that are something like 3-1, and ensures that beating up on small conference winners in the first round of the NCAA tournament won’t get you on the list.
With that definition in mind, here are all the matching games from the 2006-07 season through today (all records against Div I teams only):
|Date||Team||Opponent||Player 1||Pts||Player 2||Pts|
|Jan 16, 2012||Kansas (14-3)||Baylor (16-0)||Tyshawn Taylor||28||Thomas Robinson||27|
|Mar 15, 2009||Duke (27-6)||Florida St (25-8)||Jon Scheyer||29||Gerald Henderson||27|
|Feb 23, 2009||Kansas (22-5)||Oklahoma (25-2)||Sherron Collins||26||Tyshawn Taylor||26|
|Feb 22, 2009||Duke (21-5)||Wake Forest (20-4)||Gerald Henderson||35||Jon Scheyer||30|
|Apr 5, 2008||Memphis (37-1)||UCLA (34-3)||Chris Douglas-Roberts||28||Derrick Rose||25|
|Mar 28, 2008||Memphis (35-1)||Michigan St (27-8)||Derrick Rose||27||Chris Douglas-Roberts||25|
|Feb 10, 2008||North Carolina (21-2)||Clemson (16-5)||Tyler Hansbrough*||39||Wayne Ellington*||28|
|Jan 26, 2008||Notre Dame (13-4)||Villanova (13-4)||Kyle McAlarney||30||Luke Harangody||25|
|Jan 16, 2007||Oklahoma St (14-2)||Texas (13-3)||Mario Boggan*||37||JamesOn Curry*||28|
*As helpfully pointed out by commenter phogblog, the UNC-Clemson and Oklahoma State-Texas games above went to overtime, so those players get an asterisk.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a show like Taylor and Robinson put on last night — almost three years since Jon Scheyer and Gerald Henderson took it to Florida State in the ACC tournament championship game. It was the second time in under a month that the duo had accomplished the task.
This is actually the second time that Tyshawn Taylor has teamed up with a fellow 25-point scorer. He and Sherron Collins both topped the mark in a game against Oklahoma in the 2008-09 season.
Perhaps the most impressive listings here are the pair of Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts games. Both came in the 2008 NCAA tournament, on Memphis’s road to their near-title. The contest against UCLA was in the Final Four, against one of the best defenses in the entire country, according to defensive efficiency.
Will Taylor and Robinson join Scheyer/Henderson and Rose/CDR by simultaneously hitting the 25-point mark against elite competition another time this season? There’s no way to know for sure, but given the potential of the two, and how little depth Kansas has this season, it’s definitely not out of question.