Samantha Murphy was born the year Cindy Kinderknecht set the Grand Canyon University record for most points in a women’s basketball game by tossing in 46 points.
It was the 1988-89 season, the first year the small Christian college in Phoenix had a women’s basketball program.
Murphy is now a senior at GCU and over the weekend the graduate from Xavier Prep in Phoenix broke that 22-year-old record by scoring 49 points in a triple-overtime win against the No. 11 team in the country.
The Antelopes notched the 120-118 victory against UC San Diego in their final game at the annual Division II Disney Tip-off Classic in Anaheim, Calif., finishing 2-1 for runner-up.
But the scary part of this story is that Murphy may have gone on to set a record that might never be broken at the school – but she fouled out with 2:30 left in the first overtime.
How many more points would she have put up with another 2 1/2 overtime periods on the floor instead of on the bench?
It was the 5’8″ guard that not only scored 49 points, but also enabled her team to make it to the first overtime. With the Lopes down six and the clock winding down, she hit a trey and then was fouled on another three-point attempt. She canned all three free throws to tie it up with just 14.7 seconds left in regulation.
A couple of other familiar faces from the local high school ranks stepped up to take over the scoring load for the ‘Lopes during the remaining overtime periods.
Rosalyn Nelson, a senior guard from Deer Valley HS who was on the floor for 51 minutes, kept the Lopes alive by sinking a three-pointer off the glass with just :09 left in the first overtime. Stevie Kamp, a junior forward from Mountain View HS in Mesa, got the lead back for GCU with a couple of free throws to start the third overtime period, and freshman Maylinn Smith from Mesquite HS contributed six more points, and the Lopes rolled to the win.
GCU head coach, Trent May, credited the win to an “absolute will to win.” He said this is one game he will never forget.
“It was a battle of wills,” he pointed out after the game. “Physically, you can’t do it, but your mind has to take you places your body doesn’t want to go.”
There’s something else that will make this game not only unforgettable, but one that will stand out in the record books. The game broke five school records and numerous Disney Classic records.
The 120 points scored by the Lopes broke the old school record of 113, set in 1993, and the combined 238 points for both teams is also a record. The team also dropped in 37 free throws for another school record.
And Murphy added one more to her own personal list on the night. Her 18 made free throws broke the school record of 16, which she co-owned.
Last year, the two-time PacWest Conference Player of the Year became the program’s all-time leading scorer in a game played in Hawaii. Her 16 points against University of Hawaii-Hilo gave her 1,286 for her career, replacing the old mark of 1,281 that was set just three years ago by Jennifer Cobb.
Murphy called the win in Anaheim a “huge team effort” and added that “it is probably the most memorable game I’ve ever played in.”
Which begs the rhetorical question… You think?!
(Photo: GCU Athletics)