See more of the story

When Marcus Carr came out of the game for good with just under three minutes left in Wednesday’s 99-69 opening win vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay, he had no idea he was one point away from breaking his career high in scoring.

The junior point guard tied the 35 points he scored last season in an upset at home vs. Ohio State.

Carr’s performance Wednesday was the most points in a season opener since Jordan Murphy’s 35-point, 15-rebound effort against USC Upstate in 2017.

“Usually we’re kind of able to peek up at the scoreboard,” Carr said. “But they went on their run, and I honestly was just trying to get us back to where we needed to be."

The Gophers desperately needed Carr’s 21 second-half points to answer Green Bay’s surge that shrunk a 33-point lead to just 70-60 with 8 ½ minutes remaining.

They ended the game on a 29-9 run sparked by Carr's aggressiveness offensively, but also his vocal leadership.

“I kind of just wanted to regroup the guys,” Carr said. “Just reiterated that we had to get it done on the defensive end, trying to get out in transition and get some easy baskets. Get our juices flowing again and get some positive energy.”

Carr shot 12-for-22 from the field and 7-for-7 from the foul line Wednesday. The Gophers’ starting backcourt shot 17-for-17 on free throws, including Both Gach (6-for-6) and Gabe Kalscheur (4-for-4).

It was the third time in Carr’s career he finished perfect from the foul line with at least six free throws. His career-best was 10-for-10 at the charity stripe last season against Northwestern.

The 22 shot attempts were Carr’s career-high. When he scored 35 points last season at home against the Buckeyes, he shot 12-for-17 from the floor and 8-for-9 at the line.

What will be his encore performance Saturday against Loyola Marymount? Former Gophers standout Amir Coffey was the last U player with back-to-back 30-point games in 2018-19.

Here is where Carr’s season debut ranked among the NCAA’s best scoring games to open the 2020-21 college hoops season through Wednesday's games.

NCAA’s top scoring performances

36 – Zach Nutall, Sam Houston State

35 – Marcus Carr, Gophers

33 – Kendric Davis, SMU

32 – Ty Rowell, Cal Baptist

31 – Khalil Shabazz, San Francisco

31 – Moses Wright, Georgia Tech

29 – John-Michael Wright, High Point

29 – Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech

Big Ten high scoring games

35 – Marcus Carr, Gophers

28 – Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois

28 – Adam Miller, Illinois

26 – Luka Garza, Iowa

26 – Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana