Ordinarily, a basketball game between Youngstown State and Detroit Mercy wouldn’t draw much attention. Thursday night, a game between the two teams holds significant stakes.
In addition to NCAA Tournament hopes staying alive for the winning team, numerous individual records could be broken Thursday by a dynamic guard. Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis is 26 points shy of breaking the all-time Division I scoring record of 3,667 career points, held by LSU’s Pete Maravich.
Maravich’s per-game output will likely never be matched — at least 43 points per game across three seasons despite playing without a shot clock or 3-point line — but Davis’ scoring ability is undeniable. He’s averaging 28.4 points per game this season, and he scored 38 points Tuesday in Detroit Mercy’s win over Purdue Fort Wayne in the first round of the Horizon League tournament.
Thursday’s game tips off at 8 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.
If Antoine Davis scores 26 points on Thursday night at Youngstown State, he will break Pete Maravich’s D-I points record that has stood since Jan. 31, 1970.
If Antoine Davis scores 2,721 points on Thursday night, he’ll overtake Maravich for the career points per game record.
— Jared Berson (@JaredBerson) March 1, 2023
Davis’ last game?
There’s added pressure for Davis to surpass the scoring record Thursday, as Detroit Mercy (14-18 overall, 9-11 Horizon League) is an underdog to Youngstown State (23-8, 15-5) in the quarterfinal tournament game. Mobile sportsbooks available in Michigan have varying lines on the matchup.
FanDuel lists Detroit Mercy as a 7.5-point underdog, while BetMGM and DraftKings make the spread 8.5. Barstool Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook list the Titans as 9-point underdogs.
Youngstown State won each of the meetings between the teams this year, 84-79 on Jan. 12 and 73-63 on Jan. 29. Davis scored 32 in the first meeting, but he only mustered 15 points on 5-of-18 shooting in the second matchup.
If Detroit Mercy loses, its season is likely over, ending Davis’ college career as well. Detroit Mercy’s moneyline ranges from +290 at FanDuel to +345 at Caesars Sportsbook.
Should Detroit Mercy upset the conference’s top seed, Davis’ team could have a legitimate chance of making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his career. Davis has only played on one team with a winning record, and that came in 2020-21 when Detroit Mercy went 12-10. He’s never competed in the NIT or NCAA Tournament.
Detroit Mercy is currently +1400 on FanDuel to win the Horizon League tournament. Only Oakland at +2500 has longer odds than the Titans.
Most major mobile sportsbooks have not offered individual props on Davis’ performance. That may stem in part from the lack of attention on the Horizon League, as several other power conference games — including Michigan vs. Illinois — have individual prop betting available on platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel.
While there’s no official line, a prop for Davis’ points total would likely be over 26. He’s averaging 28 points per game this season, and he’s scored 30 or more in eight of his last nine games. He’s the focal point of Detroit Mercy’s offense, shooting at least 16 times in every game this season.
Antoine Davis @Youngdvs13 is just 26 points away from the NCAA's all-time scoring record. How did he get to 3,642 points? Hard work, character, & dedication, as told by two people who know him best: teammates & childhood friends Jamail Pink & AJ Oliver. pic.twitter.com/MiBbliseaw
— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) March 1, 2023
Davis is also chasing another record — Stephen Curry’s mark for the most 3-pointers made (162) in a single season. Davis trails the record by seven, so he’ll need to make eight to break the record Thursday. Davis has four performances this season with at least eight made 3-pointers, including a January game against Robert Morris in which he made 11.
Betting odds suggest Detroit Mercy might be overmatched Thursday night, but look for Davis to try to put on a show.
Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images