BY NATALIE HEAVREN SPORTS EDITOR
Heading into Saturday’s game, Javon Greene led the team in assists (49) and steals (33) and is second on the team in rebounding (5.9 per game) and scoring (12.4 per game).
Greene has had to take more shots this season, leading to a drop of nearly ten percent on his shooting percentage. However, that was not the case on Saturday afternoon.
He led the team with a career-high 39 points. Greene added four rebounds, four assists, five steals and just one turnover. The 39 points also set a new record for most points scored within EagleBank Arena, breaking the previous record of 34, recorded twice in 1999 and 2014.
More impressively, just two of Greene’s seven misses came from inside the three-point line.
“Knowing Justin [Kier] is out, as a team, we all have to step up. And this team right here, every night could be a different player. And tonight was my night and my teammates found me, I couldn’t give enough credit to them,” said Greene.
“Part of it was confidence. And I felt like me having to step up, brought that confidence today and hopefully the rest of the season. So we just got to bounce back and, you know, hit the ground running for Monday,” he continued
Greene, however, was more focused on the team’s loss than his own individual achievement.
Head coach Dave Paulsen praised Greene for stepping up despite struggling last game, saying, “Javon did not play well at GW, which you’re allowed to do, you know, it’s like, what do you do when you don’t play well? How do you respond?“
Despite scoring 39 points, Greene and Paulsen also joked that his single turnover was a record as well. Greene averaged 2.8 turnovers per game.
“He’s not going to score 39 points on Wednesday, but he needs to have one turnover. If he has one turnover on Wednesday, you know, then we’ll continue to progress,” Paulsen said with a laugh.
While the rest of the team struggled to find their shots, Greene was able to find and create enough shots to nearly single-handedly take down the Spiders.
The recipe for Greene’s success was simple. “I let the game come to me. I didn’t rush anything. I went inside-out and that opened up the three-point [shot]. So I just keep going at [it] and, hopefully, good things will come,” he said.
As conference play continues and wins become harder and harder to come by, Greene having the potential to take over the game is something the Patriots may depend on more and more.
The Patriots wrap up their homestand on Wednesday when the team takes on UMass at 7 p.m.