USM's Grant Greenberg becomes all-time scorer in Kansas collegiate history

Grant Greenberg needed eight points Saturday afternoon to become the all-time leading scorer in Kansas collegiate hoops history, surpassing KU legend Danny Manning for the top seat at the table.

It didn't take long.

Greenberg scored his seventh and eighth point on a layup at the 11:47 mark of the first half against Southwestern College at the Ryan Sports Center in Leavenworth to make it official:

Leavenworth High alum and Saint Mary men's basketball player, Grant Greenberg is Kansas' greatest scorer. 

But the irony of the day comes in the victory that followed almost two hours and two overtimes later as USM waged battle with the Moundbuilders in a game, many said after, was either "great" or "legendary."

Indeed.

Greenberg forced overtime to wrap a Spires' comeback from multiple double-digit deficits and ended up scoring a career 49 points on 59 percent shooting as USM defeated Southwestern, 104-103 in double overtime in a rematch of last year's Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) tournament game that saw the Spires lose a big lead late and be denied a chance at an NAIA Tournament berth.

Touche.

Greenberg surpassed Manning's career mark of 2,951 points in a moment that ended up being secondary to the drama that unfolded after the sun had set on Leavenworth.

"Looking back on it right now, during the game I was into the game and didn't notice me passing it," Greenberg said of breaking the record. "But, now that the game is over, I can't take a step back and take a look at my career so far. It's not over yet.

"Hopefully during the last push, I play better, our teams plays better and we make a run at the national tournament."

Greenberg now stands at 2,993 points and is just a few buckets from the next milestone, 3,000 points.

It appeared that Greenberg, ever the focused player, seemed to relax his game a bit after the milestone was passed.

"I still have room to improve," Greenberg said. "I knew what I had to get, coming in, and people had been talking throughout the week. I have been trying not to think about, but always someone is going to say something. Right when I hit that layup...yeah, I kind of just could play my game now."

"I didn't think he played that well in the first half," USM head coach Troy Brown said. "In the second half, it slowed down a little bit and there was probably bit of a relief that it was all over with. The whole team, the whole program, was kind of like 'we did it.' The countdown had been a month and a half long.

"The second half he was getting to the hole and the rim and nobody could stop him."

The game was stopped for a moment to recognize the achievement.

It was a game that was befitting of a historic day, as Greenberg, despite ripping the chords with his scoring touch around the tin and inside the arc, battled making anything from distance until the game, this day needed him to best himself.

Down 83-80 and the end of the game looming, the Spires (14-6, 6-4) worked the ball around before Greenberg got a second clean look and set sail on a shot that ended his duck from three and the crowd erupted as the game was tied 83-all in as fitting a moment as they come.

The first overtime was a back-and-forth affair, with junior Brice Plein's two free throws giving the Spires a late 93-90 lead, but the Moundbuilders hit a triple to set up another potential Greenberg heroic, but this time Southwestern's defense denied another landmark moment and the teams strapped in for a second, extra session.

There, Southwestern built a 103-100 lead and this time it was their turn to see a lead vanish as the Spires rallied and a layup by Plein with 14 seconds left gave the Spires the lead and ultimately the final tally.

Saint Mary's defense, much maligned during the game, came up with the big stop, forcing a tough shot and then the subsequent Spire rebounding ended what was a game to behold.

The Spires wouldn't have it any other way.

"None of this (the record) matters if we don't win that game," Brown said. "(Greenberg) would not want to do this interview with a loss. He would have had to, but it would have been harder."

Payton Meek had 14 points, Plein and Xavier Young added 12 points each and Keiron Sauer added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Spires.

Stay tuned for our full interview with Greenberg, Brown and LVHS faces in Tuesday's print edition of the Leavenworth Times and at www.leavenworthtimes.com/sports

USM women beat physical play

A win is a win is a, oh forget it.

Fact is, the University of Saint Mary women's basketball team found a way to beat Southwestern College 76-62  in a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) contest, but it was anything but a masterpiece and was more 'Etch N' Sketch.

Regardless, the Spires - led by Candy De Los ReyeS' 18 points and Kelsey Switzer's 17 pointa - moved to 6-9 overall and 5-5 in KCAC play during a very odd 40 minutes of basketball.

It wasn't the prettiest first half for either team, but the Spire women got the better of the action, taking a 32-23 lead at halftime.

USM only shot 31.4 percent from the field while the Moundbuilders were a putrid 24.1 percent.

The game remained a sloppy one as a number of inconsistent foul calls and the herky-jerky style of play by Southwestern never really allowed the Spires to get into any kind of flow.

USM led 58-50 with five minutes left in the game and would stave off a plucky if not overly impressive Southwestern club to record the win.