Mallory broke the Owl’s all-time scoring record
Edgar Ayala – Sports Editor
With five minutes left in regulation and five points away from breaking the program’s all-time scoring record, Michael Mallory was in no rush to cement his name in Southern Connecticut basketball history.
“I was four points away [from tying the record] and I got fouled on an and-1 three that I hit,” said Mallory. “I broke the record on the free throw.”
After making the and-1 three-pointer, he walks to the line where he looks left and right as opposing coaches shout “box out.”
The referee then bounces the ball to Mallory, as the official takes seven steps back to get a better view for the free throw attempt.
Mallory grasps the ball and looks down at the court – bouncing the ball three times before looking back up. He looks at the basket, waits three seconds and releases – swoosh. And just like that the No. 3 player on the court tied the No. 1 scorer in program history on a four-point play.
“It feels like a lot of hard work, and a lot of trust from a lot of people that put in me – paid off,” Mallory said. “I didn’t even know I broke the record. I’m just really happy and really blessed.”
He surpassed Rich Radicioni record set in 1990 (1,936 career points) on a pair of free throws a minute after the four-point play. He broke the record on the first free throw attempt he shot. And after he converted the second free throw, he completed his 30-point performance against AIC.
Bringing Mallory’s total to 1,938 career points for the Owls in the 92-87 win over AIC.
With the record-setting game last Tuesday night, head coach Scott Burrell noted that Mallory was the best scorer he has ever coached.
“In 11 years [of coaching] he’s up there,” said Burrell, the former Quinnipiac coach. “He can score in so many ways. He’s so athletic, he can shoot deep, he can handle it and get by people.”
Not only that, but Burrell said Mallory has to be in discussion with the best player this program has ever had. Southern graduates such as Tylon Smith, Greg Langston and the ex-record holder Radicioni, all make strong cases for the best player in Southern basketball history.
“In the recent history he’s the best player,” Burrell said. “He might be the best player in New England in a long time. To do what he’s doing for four years its really impressive no matter what level you’re at.”
Mallory has a slightly different view on where he stands in Southern’s ranks. He sees himself on Southern’s “Mount Rushmore” of basketball – a top four player.
“I think if we win [the conference title] this year, then hopefully there is no question that I’ll be on the Mount Rushmore,” Mallory said.
Apart from Mallory’s scoring ability, Austin Carter said Mallory’s defensive skills go unnoticed. Carter mentioned that the two are in competition with one another to outperform the other on defense.
“To be able to see him do it on both sides of the court is crazy,” said the senior, Carter. “It’s easy to stop players, but its not easy to score and stop players at the same time. He does both.”
Carter added that as long as he maintains his scoring ability, and improves other aspects of his game, Mallory has a chance to play professionally.
“It’s been what he’s been talking about since I met him,” said Carter on Mallory’s aspirations to play in the NBA. “He’s been working his but off to get the recognition he can get.”
And he’s certainly getting recognition, as the United States Basketball Writers of America named Mallory the National Player of the Week on Nov. 25.
The next goal for Mallory is to reach the 2,000-point milestone. No player in program history has managed to accomplish the feat – Mallory looks to be the first.
Photo Credit: Southern News Stock Photo