There is usually some sort of drama when a sports record gets broken. With longevity records there is the long, march and the build up towards the climactic moment. With single-game tallies, the aspiring record breaker generally battles not just history but also his contemporary opponent as well as any game clock. But there wasn't any of this sort of tension when Griffen Lentsch recently shattered the Division III basketball single-game scoring mark.
The junior marksman for Grinnell College scored 89 points in a game against Principia College on Saturday, eclipsing the previous record of 77 points with more than four and a half minutes remaining. Lentsch netted 40 of those points in the first half to stake his team to an insurmountable lead and just kept rolling over the opposition and past his predecessor in the NCAA record books. The only drama was if he could catch either of the players to reach the 100-point plateau in NCAA history -- Bevo Francis and Frank Selvy both did that in 1954.
The previous D-III record was also held by a Grinnell player, Jeff Clement. Also a junior when he set the previos record, Clement sunk 19 three-point shots in his team's 149-144 win over Illinois College in 1998. Lentsch managed just 15 treys but rode his sweet shooting stroke to nearly 50% shooting from the field and 20 made free throws.
Like Clement, Lentsch benefited from the frenetic, all-out pace preached by Grinnell coach David Arseneault. For years, Arseneault's teams have looked to shoot from distance on offense and press on defense. To keep up the relentless assault, he subs en masse like a hockey coach.
Grinnell's Lentsch-powered win over Principia was the the team's first game of the season. In the second, the new record holder managed a more pedestrian 25 points.