Strange But True: Basket Bonanza

Englewood Cliffs and Essex were both junior colleges in New Jersey, but on January 20, 1974, they seemed to be in different worlds. Technically they were playing a game of basketball, but after a few minutes the game became an embarrassment. It was a horrible mismatch.

The first 26 points in the game were scored by Essex. That was merely a warm-up. By the end of the half Essex led, 110-29.

During the rest period someone on the Essex team mentioned the fact that the national scoring record in basketball was 202 points. They asked coach Cleo Hill if they could try to beat the record. Hill replied that he didn’t think they could do it.

The Essex boys ran wild in the second half. Even the substitutes couldn’t miss the hoop. The final tally showed Essex with 210 points, Englewood Cliffs with 67.

The statistics piled up by the Essex team were amazing. They scored on 97 of 129 shots from the floor, 16 out of 22 foul shots, and took down a total of 89 rebounds.

From The Giant Book of More Strange But True Sports Stories by Howard Liss. Illustrations by Joe Mathieu.

New York Times Archive

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