Following what he called among of the worst halves of his career, Ripon College’s senior guard Ty Sabin scored 45 points in the second half to break his own single-game scoring record for the school with 53 total points.
The Red Hawks needed all the points they could get from Sabin, as they beat Loras 105-100 at home on Saturday night to improve to 2-0 on the season.
- Sabin, NPU's Robinson and Wheaton's McDaniels named to Team of the Week
- Watch Sabin score 53 (Ripon video)
Sabin scored just eight points in the first half on 3 of 9 shooting, including 0-for-3 from long range. He also turned the ball over five times and committed two fouls even though Ripon went into the half with a 51-46 lead.
“It was one of my worst halves ever,” Sabin said. “At halftime, my teammates just kept telling me to forget about it. They all know what I’m capable of doing, and I'm not going to have two bad halves in a row. They kept telling me they trust me.”
Struggles continued early on in the second half as Loras went on a 10-0 run after the break, and Sabin missed a jumper and turned the ball over once during this stretch.
During a timeout, head coach Ryan Kane noticed a familiar look in Sabin’s eye that sensed a turnaround.
“I met him right before he got to the bench at the timeout, and I don’t remember exactly what was said, but we had a moment,” Kane said. “He had this look in this eye that he wasn’t going to let us lose that game.”
Kane said the last time he saw Sabin make that look was in a game during his sophomore year. The game was against Lake Forest, and Sabin scored 41 total points, including 19 in overtime, as Ripon won 106-103 in double overtime.
“He singlehandedly willed us to victory,” Kane said. “He had that same kind of look where it was like anytime he looked at the rim, he felt like he could take it and make it.”
Sabin came out red hot after the timeout and carried Ripon the rest of the way in a back-and-forth game that featured 18 ties and 21 lead changes.
“In the second half, things were just working,” Sabin said. “I didn’t really have time to think what was going on, but everything seemed to be clicking. The second half was all instinctive.”
Sabin made his final 12 shots of the game and went 5-for-5 from the three-point line in the second half.
Sabin iced the game late with four straight makes from the line, where he made 18 of 22 attempts in the game.
“It was a pretty amazing feeling,” Sabin said. “It’s a really good feeling because all the shots I made were all just reps I practiced throughout the summer. It wasn’t anything too special, but it’s good to see all of the work pay off.”
Sabin broke the school’s previous single-game scoring mark that he set last year with 51, which included a 30-foot buzzer beater to beat Cornell by one in overtime.
Sabin and Kane both said they did not know what his point total was until after the game was over.
“Somebody told me after the game, and I didn’t believe him,” Sabin said. “I thought for sure he miscalculated.”
Kane said Sabin responded well to the poor performance in the first half.
“It was a great moment for him because it had been a while since he had to respond in game and turn around an otherwise poor game,” Kane said. “To turn it around the way he did was remarkable.”
Since arriving on campus his freshman year in 2013, Sabin has essentially taken over the record book for Ripon men’s basketball in most scoring categories.
In addition to scoring the most points in school history in a single game, Sabin holds the school record for career points per game with 25.
“When we recruited him, we knew we were getting a scorer,” said Kane, who recruited Sabin in his first recruiting class with Ripon. “We needed to find some guys who were able to come in and play for us right away. Ty certainly showed the ability to be the guy who could help shoulder the scoring load for us.”
Sabin said he was not highly-recruited after his basketball career at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, Wisconsin and has used that as motivation.
“I wasn’t recruited heavily, and I’ve always wanted to make teams regret it,” Sabin said.
Kane said putting time in the weight room helped Sabin have a big freshman year.
“The thing that really separated him was the summer going into his freshman year,” Kane said. “He drastically changed his body physically and committed himself to the weight room, and he became very strong physically for a freshman player, so he was able to handle the workload.”
Sabin led the team in points his freshman season with 19.6 points per game and was named the D3hoops.com Midwest Region Rookie of the Year.
From there, Sabin has been scoring at will. He was named All-American honorable mention as a sophomore by D3hoops.com and made second team his junior season.
Sabin was selected as a preseason first-team All-American this year, but his hope is to get his team to a conference title, which has not happened since the 1998-99 season.
“He’s going for what he’s wanted since he stepped foot on this campus, and that’s a championship,” Kane said. “Everything he does at this point isn’t about the scoring records or the accolades he’s been getting. Everything he’s been working towards is to help our program and win a conference championship. That’s what pushes him. It’s not the scoring records, it’s to cut down a net and hang a banner.”
There was a decent amount of movement in the first regular-season rankings with a few teams moving into the rankings and a couple making exits.
In the men’s side of the Central region, North Central (Ill.) moved up from No. 13 to No. 6, Augustana advanced one spot form No. 18 to No. 17, and Illinois Wesleyan entered the rankings at No. 16.
UW-Eau Claire is now the lone ranked WIAC team at No. 21, and UW-Oshkosh was bounced from the Top 25. From the MWC, St. Norbert dropped to No. 10 from No. 4, and Benedictine fell to No. 14 from No. 6 from the NACC.
The WIAC has three teams in the latest women’s Top 25 rankings. UW-Oshkosh moved up two spots to No. 12, and UW-Stevens Point advanced a spot to No. 21. After being previously unranked, UW-Whitewater enters the Top 25 at No. 22, while UW-River Falls fell out of the rankings.
Wheaton of the CCIW went from No. 21 to No. 19 while Chicago joined the Top 25 and Washington U. moved up two slots.
Check these out
We have a few more early-season treats to begin the college basketball season. Here are four games you should be watching out for over the next week from the Central region.
#19 Wheaton (Ill.) @ #25 Chicago (WBB) – Wednesday, Nov. 30 – Following an overtime loss to Hope College, Wheaton has rattled off three straight wins and will play in a Top 25 matchup against Chicago, who has been a pleasant surprise with a few big victories to crack the rankings.
UW-Oshkosh @ #17 Augustana (MBB) – Wednesday, Nov. 30 – UW Oshkosh fell out of the Top 25 and will continue its tough non-conference slate against Augustana, who is coming off its first loss of the season to No. 9 Washington U.
#21 UW-Eau Claire vs. Rhodes (MBB) – Friday, Dec. 2 – These two teams will compete in the 33rd annual WashU Lopata Classic. UW-Eau Claire has been impressive early in the season, and Rhodes plays an exciting style of play, as games the Lynx have been involved in have averaged 222.4 total points per game.
#16 Illinois Wesleyan @ #6 North Central (Ill.) (MBB) – Saturday, Dec. 3 – Both teams come in with high scoring totals, so we should expect big numbers in a Top 25 matchup between two unbeaten teams.
What’s your story?
Do you have a story that you would like the D3hoops community to know about? I am on the hunt for Around the Central stories, but I could use the help from the readers. Be sure to reach out for broken records, approaching milestones, breakout players or any other storylines from the region. Or just drop me a note to let me know what you think of the column. All ideas and feedback are welcome. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance for your story to be told or reach out and follow me on Twitter @ImErikBuchinger.