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Detroit Mercy’s Davis becomes D-I’s No. 2 scorer


When he joined Detroit Mercy five years ago to play for his father, Mike Davis, and the Titans, Antoine Davis never imagined he’d be remembered as one of the greatest scorers in NCAA history.

After passing former Portland State star Freeman Williams to climb to No. 2 in points scored in NCAA Division I men’s basketball in his team’s 89-77 road win over IUPUI on Saturday, Davis said he knows the focus will be on his pursuit of the all-time mark. He admits the idea of pulling off a miracle finish and catching “Pistol” Pete Maravich, the legendary player who scored a Division I-record 3,667 career points in three years at LSU, is something he will have to consider for the rest of the season.

“Yeah, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t [think about Maravich’s record],” Davis told ESPN after finishing with 42 points, increasing his career total to 3,274 — 393 away from the record. “It’s a big accomplishment. At the end of the day, No. 2 with 3,274 points is something that’s never been done either, so I’m just playing and having fun and enjoying this.”

Davis, who set the NCAA’s D-I career record for 3-pointers made during a win last week against Robert Morris, would have to average 35.7 PPG over the next 11 games to catch Maravich during the regular season. He’s averaging 26.2 PPG this season.

While the all-time mark is possible, Davis said he’s more focused on winning than anything else.

“That record is untouchable from the standpoint of wanting to win and do it the right way,” Davis said. “I can always go out and score points but if I go out there and we’re losing, it’s not worth it.”

With 5:33 to play in the first half of the matchup against IUPUI, Davis passed Williams (3,249 points) to become the No. 2 scorer in college basketball history with the 3,250th point of his career and 18th of the game.

Last summer, Davis entered the transfer portal and considered a move to another school.

Multiple major programs were on his list, including BYU and Maryland, but the veteran said he came back to Detroit Mercy to help the school make a run to the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than a decade (2012).

Davis has never played in the NCAA tournament and he said he would trade any record for an appearance.

But now, he’ll be the focus of a scoring pursuit that once seemed impossible.

Maravich averaged 44.2 PPG for three years at LSU in the late 1960s. He did it without a 3-point line.

Davis has been chasing Maravich in a career that started during the 2018-19 season. He has played in 131 games, compared with Maravich’s 83. But Maravich averaged 38.1 field goal attempts per game in his career, compared with Davis’ 20.5.

Even with a postseason run in the Horizon League tournament and an appearance in the NCAA tournament, Davis would need a heroic effort to pull it off. Either way, he’ll enjoy the journey, he said.

“It’s still unreal now to even think I’m in the position I am in now, being No. 2,” Davis said. “I’m blessed. I’ll take it one day at a time.”

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