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Just more than 29 years ago, Highlands alum Steve Hunt played in a game for the record books for the Troy State University (Alabama) Trojans on Jan. 12, 1992.
With 7:37 left in the game, Hunt came free on a break, pulled up at the top of the key and made a three-pointer scoring the 200th point of a game in an astounding 258-141 win over the DeVry Institute (Georgia) Hoyas. Troy broke its own scoring record for one game set the previous season in a 187-117 victory over DeVry. The teams combined to score one point every six seconds.
"I knew I wasn't going to get many shots at it so I had to make it," Hunt said. "My job was to pass the ball. We (modeled) our game after Loyola Marymount (University Lions of Los Angeles, California). In the late 80s and early 90s, they ran the run-and-gun. Everyone was on that day."
Loyola Marymount still holds the NCAA Division I record for most points in a game. The Lions defeated Alliant International, 186-140 on Jan. 5, 1991.
Hunt scored 15 points in the game, but did not have any of Troy's 28 slam dunks in the game. He was one of 10 players to score in double figures.
The Trojans scored 123 in the first half and an NCAA record 135 in the second half, which is still an NCAA record for all divisions. The Trojans also set NCAA records for most field goals in a game with 102, most field-goal attempts with 190, most triples in a game with 51 and an NCAA Division II record with 65 assists in the game. The previous record for most field goals in a game was 79 and 25 three pointers. Hunt became one of 10 players to make a three-point shot, which is still an NCAA record for most players to make a triple in a game.
"It meant a lot for us to show that we could do it and be the first team to ever do it," Hunt said. "We were quicker, stronger. We were just more talented than they were. I hate to say that. But it was just one of those games where we knew we had more talent than they did. They were willing to run and gun. It was fun and exciting."
Troy State committed just one foul in the game allowing DeVry to attempt no field goal attempts. DeVry committed 44 turnovers in the game.
"That's a lot of turnovers in a game," Hunt said. "So I think (defense plays a part) even though it doesn't seem like it when you're giving up 141 points."
Troy was an not in a conference that season. The Trojans averaged 121 points per game that year setting a new NCAA record. Hunt noted teams needed to be in shape to run up and down the floor like the Trojans did.
"(It was) a lot of conditioning, a lot of running in preseason workouts," Hunt said. "We played in three to four-minute intervals at a time."
Troy finished 23-6 that season under long-time Head Coach Don Maestri. The Trojans lost 96-91 to Jacksonville State in the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament. But Troy did go 27-5 the following season losing 85-72 to California State-Bakersfield in the NCAA Division II national championship game.
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Hunt played three seasons at Troy. After graduating from Highlands in 1990 with current University of Louisville women's basketball Head Coach Jeff Walz, Hunt spent a season at the now-defunct Lees College in Jackson, Kentucky. He met friend and teammate Brian Simpson from Mason County. Simpson scored 37 in the record-setting game.
Hunt said the reason he did not go from Highlands to Troy State is the Trojans did not have any scholarships available when he graduated so it would have been expensive for him to go there. He paid little in-state tuition to go to Lees College.
"The friendships I've made have been phenomenal. I was frustrated with playing at Lee Junior College. I wasn't having fun and I wasn't into it as much as I should be," Hunt said. "(Troy) called and said they had a scholarship open and asked if I knew of anyone because we're looking for a shooter. I said, 'Yeah. I have a guy on my team.' They said, 'Bring him down.' We drove down one weekend. On the spot, they offered us the scholarships. We both were like, 'Yup. We're taking it."
Hunt went into coaching after college including stints as assistants for the Highlands boys and girls basketball teams. He recently spent a couple seasons as the head coach of the Dayton Lady Devils. He tried to convey some lessons to his players he learned from his time at Troy.
"Anyone can make it to that level," Hunt said. "You have to believe in yourself and the journey it takes to get there. I played the game with a great group of guys down at Troy and a great coaching staff."
Hunt said he plans to go back to coaching eventually. He is a freight broker by trade.