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North Florida’s Parker Smith with the best shooting night of the year?


Mike Miller

I think its safe to say that North Florida’s Parker Smith is a streaky shooter.

On Saturday, it took Smith 17 shots -- including a 1-11 performance from three -- to score 12 points as North Florida barely held on to beat Kennesaw State, who has yet to win a game in Atlantic Sun play, in double overtime at home. Not exactly a telling sign for a basketball program.

Smith was a different play on Monday night, however, as he finished with 46 points while hitting 13-20 from the field and 11-17 from beyond the arc. In other words, on Monday night, Smith took three more shots than he did on Saturday afternoon and scored 34 points. That’s a drastic swing in efficiency.

All kidding aside, Smith put on arguably the best shooting performance in the country this season as the Ospreys knocked off Mercer 75-66. The 11 threes that he hit was the most in the country this year. Oakland’s Travis Bader, Lafayette’s Jim Mower and Iona’s Sean Armand have all had games where they hit 10 threes. The last time a player hit 11 threes in a game was when Mike James came off the bench for Lamar to score 52 points and knock down 11 triples against Louisiana College. The last player to do so against Division I competition was Seton Hall’s Jamel Jackson, who hit 12 threes against VMI in 2009-2010. The 46 points was the second-highest total this season. Tennessee Tech’s Kevin Murphy went for 50 on January 30th.

And while this performance may seem irrelevant, Smith actually played a major role in the Atlantic Sun race. Two games ago, Mercer and Belmont were tied for first place in the league standings, with the season’s final game being played between those two teams at Mercer. But Smith’s performance sent the Bears to their second straight loss, cementing at least a share of the league title for the Bruins as they now take a two-game lead with just two games left.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.