Happy Birthday, Demetri McCamey!

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Dave Downey’s big game

Fifty-one years ago today, Dave Downey set Illinois’ all-time basketball scoring record with a 53-point explosion at Indiana. The Illini’s senior guard/forward from Canton scored 27 points in the first half on 11-of-17 shooting, pacing the UI to a 50-41 halftime lead. He contributed 26 of Illinois’ 50 second-half points, again on 11-of-17 accuracy. Downey would up making 22 of 34 shots from the field (.647) and all nine of his free throw attempts, breaking Terry Dischinger’s previous single-game Big Ten record of 52 points. Amazingly, Downey’s huge individual performance came in a losing effort, 103-100, as Indiana’s Tom Bolyard and Jimmy Rayl accounted for 34 and 29 points, respectively. The Big Ten’s top all-time scoring efforts:

— 61 points by Rick Mount of Purdue vs. Iowa (2/28/70)
— 57 points by Dave Schellhase of Purdue at Michigan (2/19/66)
— 56 points by Jimmy Rayl of Indiana vs. Minnesota (1/ 27/62)
— 56 points by Jimmy Rayl of Indiana vs. Michigan State (2/23/63)
— 53 points by Dave Downey of Illinois at Indiana (2/16/63)
— 53 points by Rick Mount of Purdue at Iowa (1/ 3/70)
— 53 points by Rick Mount of Purdue at Michigan (1/ 31/70)
— 52 points by Terry Dischinger of Purdue vs. Michigan State (2/25/61)
— 50 points by Terry Dischinger of Purdue at Wisconsin (1/ 27/62)
— 50 points by Terry Furlow of Michigan State vs. Iowa (1/5/76)

Illini birthdays
Today: Jenny & Susanna Kallur, track & field (33)
Monday: Heidi Coulter, volleyball (38)
Tuesday: Willie Young, football (58)
Wednesday: Jim Plankenhorn, football (73)
Thursday: Bob Richards, track & field (88)
Friday: Demetri McCamey, basketball (25)
Saturday: Taylor Mason, football (58)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @B1GLLL and on Facebook at Big Ten Legends, Lists & Lore

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