Sometimes, like when you're coaching seventh-grade basketball, the coach of a vastly superior team pretty much has an obligation to find ways to control the final score. By college, though, those rules disappear.
Teams make their choices and live with the outcome. But ...
Greenville University, a small southern Illinois school that plays a style designed to score points and not focus on defense, defeated Fontbonne University 200-146 on Saturday in a Division III men's game. Greenville may sound familiar to some Minnesota college football fans, because its football team plays in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Panthers didn't play very well last season, giving up 47 points in a loss to St. Scholastica of Duluth and 63 to Martin Luther of New Ulm last season.
But here's what stands out about Saturday's game: Ahead 196-145 in the game's final minute, Greenville fouled intentionally to get the ball back. With 198 points and seconds remaining, Greenville did it again, hitting a lay-up at the buzzer to reach 200, including 103 in the second half.
Let's go to the video, which the school posted on its Twitter feed after getting some attention from ESPN.:
Last season, Loras College of Iowa scored 100 points in a half against Macalester, but did it in the first half. Also, in that game, Macalester was the team that brought the run-shoot-and-disregard-the-defense style to the court, a plan that was mercifully discarded after an off-season coaching change. Loras took advantage of what was happening and toned it down in the second half.
For extreme trivia fans, Loras opened this season by beating Greenville 141-127. And Greenville finished one point short of the Division III record of 201 points, set by Lincoln University of Pennsylvania in 2006.
Aod if you want to see what the box score of a 200-point game looks like, have at it.
So let's review:
Winning by a big score: No problem.
Not compromising your style to play: No problem
Fouling on purpose to reach 200 points: Problem or no problem?