Friar Basketball

Top Scoring Games of the Big East Era

Billy Donovan Providence Manny Millan/SI

With 36 points yesterday, David Duke joined elite company at Providence. Since the start of Big East Conference, only 12 Friars have scored 35 points or more in a game. Most of them are all-time greats, two of them left rather unceremoniously, and five of those performances came in postseason play. Here’s a look back.

Postseason Outbursts: Austin Croshere’s 39 points in the 1st round of the 1997 NCAA tournament broke Billy Donovan’s school tournament record of 35 set in 1987 against Alabama-Birmingham (Donovan also added 12 assists). Billy the Kid was later surpassed by Bryce Cotton in the 2014 NCAA tournament, as Cotton went for 36 points and eight assists in a loss to North Carolina. Croshere’s ’97 team made it to the Elite Eight before falling to eventual national champion Arizona in overtime, while Donovan’s ’87 group reached the Final Four.

Here’s a great look back at the 1st round of the ’87 tournament, which includes a writeup on Billy Donovan, Navy’s David Robinson going for 50 points against Michigan (he had scored 45 versus Kentucky earlier that year), and Austin Peay upsetting #11 Illinois.

Croshere’s 39 points were highlighted by an 70 foot bomb just before halftime. “I couldn’t believe it,” coach Pete Gillen said of the shot. “It was just our night. I was too stunned to be stunned.” PC shot 20-26 in the first half and rolled Marquette, 81-59.

Providence’s Big East Tournament record of 38 points was set by Jamine “Greedy” Peterson in a somewhat ridiculous 109-106 track meet against Seton Hall in 2010. Peterson’s record was tied six years later when Ben Bentil went off against Butler.

Eric Murdock’s Crazy Run: Eric Murdock was ridiculous in the 1990-91 season. He averaged over 25 points and three steals per game. He graduated as the NCAA’s all-time leader in steals, but it was his scoring that was jaw-dropping during his senior year.

He was particularly great mid-way through the season. He scored 37+ points four times in a little over a month:

  • 37 points in a 79-77 win over Manhattan on 12/21/90
  • 45 points against #4 Arizona the next time out (12/23/90). That Arizona team had six players who eventually played in the NBA.
  • Just over a week later, Murdock scored 40 against Seton Hall (1/2/91) in a 97-92 loss.
  • His career high came later that month (1/23/91) when Murdock went for 48 against Pittsburgh

The 48 points set a Big East record for Murdock, who was recruited to Providence by Rick Pitino at the recommendation of assistant coach Stu Jackson. 

The Past 20 Years: Few saw Donta Wade’s 38 point explosion at Notre Dame coming in 2000. A junior college transfer, Wade came in with the reputation of a big time scorer, but shot poorly in his one season at PC (he was dismissed for an on-campus assault in the Friars’ turbulent spring of 2000). The Friars were 9-16 on the season before Wade led them to the 89-79 win in South Bend.

In 1999, Jamel Thomas scored 13 of his 38 points in overtime in a win at Villanova, while Ryan Gomes’ 38 points against Connecticut caused Jim Calhoun to quip that UConn tried 25 guys on Gomes “and we only dressed eight.” Gomes crossed the 2,000 point mark that night, an eventual double overtime loss to the defending national champs.

LaDontae Henton is on the list three times, joining Murdock as the only two players during the Big East era to score 35+ on more than two occasions. Henton scored 35 in a win over Creighton (12/31/14), 37 in a shocking loss at Brown (12/28/12), and 38 versus Notre Dame at Mohegan Sun.

Of course, Marshon Brooks set a Big East record with 52 points in a home loss to Notre Dame, shortly after putting up 43 in a loss at Georgetown.

Bentil’s career high 42 points came in a double overtime loss at Marquette.


Complete List of 35+ Games in the Big East Era

Marshon Brooks, 52 points vs. Notre Dame on 2/23/11

Eric Murdock, 48 points vs. Pittsburgh on 1/23/91

Murdock, 45 points vs. Arizona on 12/23/90

Brooks, 43 points vs. Georgetown on 2/5/11

Ben Bentil, 42 points vs. Marquette on 2/10/16

Jerry Scott, 41 points vs. Michigan State on 12/20/80

Murdock, 40 points vs. Seton Hall on 1/2/91

Austin Croshere, 39 points vs. Marquette on 3/14/97

Billy Donovan, 38 points vs. Miami on 1/20/87

Jamel Thomas, 38 points vs. Villanova on 2/20/99

Donta Wade, 38 points vs. Notre Dame on 2/23/00

Jamine Peterson, 38 points vs. Seton Hall on 3/9/10

LaDontae Henton, 38 points vs. Notre Dame on 11/23/14

Bentil, 38 points vs. Butler on 3/10/16

Murdock, 37 points vs. Manhattan on 12/21/90

Ryan Gomes, 37 points vs. UConn on 2/15/05

Henton, 37 points vs. Brown on 12/28/12

Bryce Cotton, 36 points vs. North Carolina on 3/21/14

Rodney Bullock, 36 point vs. New Hampshire on 11/30/16

David Duke, 36 points vs. Creighton on 1/18/20

Donovan, 35 points vs. Alabama-Birmingham on 3/12/87

Henton, 35 points vs. Creighton on 12/31/14


  1. Ron

    January 19, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Awesome list of PC 35+ point scorers. PC, one of the countries most esteemed Colleges. I was blessed to be recruited by, played basketball for, experienced, and earned a degree from Providence College!

  2. Anonymous

    January 19, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    Missing Jerry Scott 41 vs. Michigan St in December 1980

  3. Kevin Farrahar

    January 19, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Good catch. I just added Jerry to the list.

  4. BlackWhiteFriar

    January 20, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    It would have been relevant to list how many 35+ games Jimmy Walker had his senior year when he averaged 30 pts for the season, before the 3 pt shot . I realize your listing is only Big East era but Walker’s accomplishments in just his senior yr would put everything into perspective.

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