Remembering Donald Smith’s record-setting 52-point game for the Dayton Flyers in 1973

Credit: Contributed Photo

Credit: Contributed Photo

This week marks the anniversary of Donald Smith setting the all-time single-game scoring record for the University of Dayton by putting up 52 points against Loyola in 1973.

In doing so, he passed Don (Monk) Meineke’s Dayton record of 49 points in a game.

The 52 points was also a record for the venue, Chicago Stadium. The previous record of 45 points was held by Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Dave Stallworth and Cazzie Russell.

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Smith, a 6-foot guard, was in a zone that night on Feb. 3, 1973. He made the first eight shots he took. From there, he went on the unleash 35 shots from the field, making 22 of them. According to legendary Dayton Daily News reporter Hal McCoy, who covered the game, none of them were closer than 15 feet.

Smith was also perfect at the free throw line and didn’t commit a single foul over 38 minutes.

“I felt like I was at home,” Smith said afterward. “It was sensational to hear those fans telling me to shoot.”

When Smith left the court with 2 minutes left, he received a standing ovation from the crowd of 7,383.

Dayton topped Loyola 110-89.

Credit: Bill Garlow

Credit: Bill Garlow

Chicago Loyola coach George Ireland was impressed, saying, “Did you ever see such shooting? And, we were guarding him. I don’t think he threw a pass all night, but who cares when you shoot like that?”

Smith did pass up one shot, making a behind-the-back pass to center John Bitter.

Loyola player Nate Hayes was the one trying to guard Smith in the second half. He was interviewed about it after the game and said, “What happened? I don’t know, I still (haven’t) figured it out. Ask him.” He said pointing to teammate Frank Sanders who guarded Smith in the first half.

Chicago Tribune sports writer Richard Dozer said, “Never seen anything like it, never. That was some shooting display — I don’t just mean Smith. I mean the whole team, but what Smith did just engulfed everybody.”

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