South Dakota State: Nate the Great Wolters Scores Season High 53 Points

Joshua GleasonContributor IIIFebruary 7, 2013

Nate Wolters had arguably the biggest night of the college basketball season on Thursday.
Nate Wolters had arguably the biggest night of the college basketball season on Thursday.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

On a night when the South Dakota State Jackrabbits were staring a bad loss to the IPFW Mastodons in the face, down 37-29 at halftime, they rallied in the second half behind one man: Nate Wolters.

The Jackrabbits ended up winning 80-74, but that's merely a sidebar in what was an incredible night for the senior point guard Wolters. Wolters dropped 53 points in the contest, the most in a single game this season, topping fellow Summit League player Travis Bader of Oakland, who scored 47 points against IUPUI in January.

Wolters, who shot below 30 percent from three-point land last season, went 9-of-14 tonight, and is shooting 56.25 percent over his last four games from deep. He was 17-of-28 from the floor, 10-of-11 from the free throw line, and also chipped in four rebounds and three assists.

Wolters 53 points is the second most points scored in a non-overtime game since 1997. Only Jodie Meeks of Kentucky scored more when he dropped 53 points against Tennessee in 2009. Overall, Wolters' 53 points is tied for the sixth highest total in a single game since 1997.

Wolters scored 38 of his 53 points in the second half, which outscored IPFW's second half output (37).

Frank Gaines couldn't of picked a worse night to have a great game. IPFW's senior guard shot 50 percent from the field, including 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) from three, totaling 29 points.

Wolters picked a perfect time to light up the box score, as it was recently announced to him and the Jackrabbits that their game vs. Murray State on Feb. 23 will be aired on ESPN2.

Anybody who hasn't had a chance to check out Wolters will be able to soon enough.

UPDATE (10:00 a.m. EST): Nate Wolters performance is making headlines around the nation as of late last night and early this morning.

To toss-in a few more statistics from last night, Wolters scored 29 points in the final 10:15 of the ball game, which would have tied for the fifth most amount of points in all of Division I last night, was as many as IPFW's leading scorer Frank Gaines scored on the night, and is 25 more points than the rest of the Jackrabbits scored during that time period.

This was Wolters 45th career game of scoring 20 points or more. It was also the ninth time this season Wolters has played at least 40 minutes in a game.

After last night, Wolters is fourth in the nation in points per game averaging 22.2 per game.