“He’s merely wonderful.” That’s how one college coach described Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati University’s 19-year-old sophomore, who staged the greatest one-man show in Madison Square Garden basketball history tonight. No player, professional or amateur, ever had achieved so many points in a game as did Robertson in leading the Bearcats to a record-smashing 118-54 rout of Seton Hall.

The 56 points tallied by the 6-foot 5-inch star from Indianapolis set an individual scoring mark for the Eighth Avenue arena, where basketball has been played since 1934. Robertson left the game with 2 minutes 46 seconds remaining. He left with the cheers of 4,615 spectators ringing in his ears and with the knowledge that he had scored more points than the entire Seton Hall squad.

Coach George Smith’s Bearcats captured the fancy of the fans easily. They simply overpowered Honey Russell’s New Jersey Pirates and in doing so accounted for a college team scoring high at the Garden. Great as Robertson was, his Cincinnati quintet was hardly a one-man team. Connie Dierking was quite a performer. So were Ralph Davis, Wayne Stevens and Mike Mendenhall. Led by Robertson, the twice-beaten Bearcats averaged 56 per cent with their floor shots, making fifty of eighty-nine.

By half-time, when Cincinnati had soared to an incredible 58-20 advantage, virtually everyone in the Garden was singing the praises of the 196-pound Robertson, a smooth, stylish, sure-handed forward. With every move Robertson made it was obvious that he was the best collegian player seen here in many a season.

What made his performance all the more remarkable was the fact that he never attempted a shot from farther than twenty-five feet out and only three times did he do that, clicking each time. Most of the time, the lad drove in, hooked from the bucket, feinted his way in with lay-ups or tossed in short-range one-handers.

Robertson collected twenty-two field goals on thirty-two shots. He caged twelve straight fouls, grabbed fifteen rebounds and still found time to make a half-dozen assists. Against such an athlete, supported by so many strong Bearcats, Seton Hall never had a chance.