Melvin Ejim took 24 shots, made 20 and finished with 48 points and 18 rebounds in Iowa State's 84-69 win over TCU on Saturday. It was a performance that:
- Set a Big-12 record for points in a game.
- Tied a national record for points in a game this season.
- Had social media -- Twitter, Facebook, etc., -- buzzing from coast to coast.
"Congrats to Melvin Ejim on a great day!" tweeted former Iowa State coach and current Creighton coach Greg McDermott, who recruited Ejim to ISU's campus. "Nothing better than a wonderful person having a game to remember!"
A certain segment of the population was apparently bothered by Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg playing Ejim into the final minute in an attempt to help the senior forward get 50. Let the record show that I think that segment of the population is dumb, and that I would've been more bothered if Hoiberg hadn't played Ejim into the final minute because, I think, a coach owes a player an opportunity at history, and Ejim getting 50 points would've made a helluva college basketball headline.
Forty-eight will do, though.
And this is exactly the type of thing that should make Ejim a favorite for Big 12 Player of the Year and candidate for National Player of the Year. The 6-foot-6 Canadian is now averaging 19.7 points and 8.6 rebounds for an Iowa State team that's 18-4 and ranked 16th in the AP poll, and that No. 16 ranking is probably low considering half of the Cyclones' losses are to Kansas. Take KU off the schedule, and Iowa State would be 18-2 with wins over Michigan, Iowa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. That's a strong body of work from a team that didn't receive a single vote in the preseason AP poll.
But I digress.
Let's get back to Ejim.
He scored 20 consecutive points for the Cyclones during one stretch on Saturday and finished with 18 two-pointers, two 3-pointers and six free throws. He dunked six times. His final field goal attempt came with 49 seconds remaining. He exited with 19.9 seconds left.
The standing ovation was loud and lengthy.