Point Lookout, Mo. – With the first basket of the game in Saint Xavier's 82-60 victory over Saint Mary (Kan.) late last night in the first round of the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championships in Point Lookout, Mo., junior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) joined an exclusive group. Scoring his 2,000th career point with that bucket, Karp became only the fifth player in Illinois college basketball history to reach the milestone in three or less seasons. He also becomes just the fourth player in SXU men's basketball history (dating back to 1970) to reach the 2,000 career points mark joining Hall of Famers Mike Walaszek (2,517 points, 1978), Mark Telander (2,281 points, 2004) and Gary Hickerson (2,245 points, 1975).
The previous four Illinois college basketball players to hit 2,000 career points in three seasons include Trinity Christian College's Kevin Koeman, Bradley's Hersey Hawkins, Loyola's Alfredrick Hughes and Southern Illinois' Charlie Vaughn. Karp has been the leading scorer for Saint Xavier for the last three seasons. This year, he is averaging 21.6 points and 9.0 rebounds a game and was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Player of the Year as well as the Capital One-CoSIDA Academic All-American College Division Team Member of the Year. For his career, Karp has averaged an impressive 21.6 points and 8.3 rebounds over 93 games.
"It is a pretty cool accomplishment, especially to know that not a lot of people have done it in the history of Illinois college basketball," said Karp. "Personally, I never thought I would reach 1,000 points in my college career, because I was not much of a scorer in high school. Right now, it is hard for me to focus on the magnitude of such an accomplishment, because I am so focused on helping our team win at the national tournament."
Saint Xavier is still in the midst of its 2012-13 campaign after advancing to the second round of the NAIA Division II National Championships with last night's victory. The Cougars take on No. 11 ranked Indiana University-Southeast at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 8, at the Keeter Gymnasium in Point Lookout, Mo.