Northern Iowa guard Jeremy Morgan scored 38 points in Saturday’s comeback win against North Dakota. Morgan did not score in the first half. Do the easy math, and you’ll find something truly remarkable.
Jeremy Morgan scored 38 points all in the second half of a basketball game. 38 points in 20 minutes. And he did it all while missing six free throws, even though he was an 87% shooter at the foul line entering Saturday.
The sports world went insane on Monday when Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson dropped 40 points in the first half of an NBA game against the Pacers, and an NBA half is 24 minutes as opposed to the 20-minute halves in college.
Is it clear yet why Morgan was selected as the preseason MVC Player of the Year?
Morgan scored on Northern Iowa’s first possession of the second half but still had only two points with 16 minutes remaining. Then the madness began. He poured in bucket after bucket, making 9 of his final 10 attempts from the field. He also shot 21 free throws in the final 11 minutes and finished the game 16-of-22 at the stripe.
His second half stat line: 38 points, 10-of-12 FG, 2-of-4 3P, 16-of-22 FT, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover.
The 22 free throw attempts were a McLeod Center record for an entire game, and Morgan did it in half the time.
“[Coach Ben Jacobson] trusts me,” Morgan told The Gazette of Cedar Rapids. “He doesn’t do [isolations] a lot. When he does have an isolation situation for me on the wing it tells me that he believes in me. That meant a lot, and I tried to make [the] plays.”
I don’t even know what the most impressive part is. That Morgan scored, assisted or drew a foul on 14 of 15 Northern Iowa possessions at one point, including 10 straight? That he averaged nearly two free throw attempts per minute down the stretch? That he committed just one turnover despite constantly having the ball in his hands?
Any way you frame it, we likely won’t see another half of basketball as dominant as this one the rest of the season.