Knight Wins Second-Straight Valley Newcomer of the Week Award
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Dec. 9, 2013
ST. LOUIS - For the second-consecutive week, junior guard Daishon Knight is the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the week, as announced by the league office Monday. The Redbirds have now earned a newcomer of the week honor in three out of the first five weeks this season.
Knight led Illinois State in scoring, rebounding and assists last week to guide the Redbirds to a historic upset-victory over No. 25 Dayton and a win over in-state rival Chicago State. Knight averaged a team-best 17.5 points per game on 13-for-29 (44.8 percent) shooting from the field, plus 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists (with a 3.00 assist-to-turnover ratio), as he helped ISU extend its winning streak to four-straight games. He was Illinois State's leading scorer and rebounder in both contests last week.
Playing in just his ninth-ever NCAA Division I game, Knight poured in a 20-point, six-rebound and four-assist effort to lead the Redbirds to an 81-75 upset-win over No. 25 Dayton Saturday night, marking ISU's first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked foe at Redbird Arena, and the program's 10th-ever victory against a Top-25 team. The Baltimore, Md., native also led Illinois State with 15 points (all in the second half), seven rebounds, two assists and one steal in ISU's 75-56 win over Chicago State Wednesday evening.
In the victory against No. 25 Dayton, Knight netted his game-best 20 points on 7-for-17 shooting (41.1 percent) and a perfect 5-for-5 effort (100 percent) at the free throw line. Knight set the tone early, netting a jumper on his first shot attempt of the game to put Illinois State ahead, 2-0, at the 19:47 mark. Later, with 15:12 remaining in the first half, Knight grabbed a defensive rebound, hustled down the floor and scored a layup to increase ISU's lead to 10-4. Then at the 4:42 mark in the opening-half, Knight converted a three-point play to increase the Redbird advantage to eight, after netting a jumper and a free throw. With 1:35 remaining in the first, Knight extended ISU's lead to its largest of the half on a jumper, putting the Redbirds ahead by 10 points, 39-29.
During the second half, Knight again scored Illinois State's first basket on a three-pointer with 19:48 remaining. Then, after Dayton took its only lead of the game at the 12:43 mark, Knight hit a pair of free throws four minutes later to re-establish a five-point Redbird advantage. He then assisted Reggie Lynch with a layup and scored a layup of his own to gain a seven-point lead. Two more free throws by Knight with 4:16 remaining helped the Redbirds build a 15-point advantage, their largest of the game, and ISU held off Dayton for a marquee victory. Knight finished with a career-high 33 minutes played against the Flyers.
Wednesday night versus Chicago State, Knight led Illinois State with 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting (50.0 percent) in 27 minutes of action. With the Redbirds trailing by five points early in the second half, Knight scored back-to-back jumpers and grabbed a rebound to pull ISU within one. He was then credited with an assist as Lynch scored a layup to tie the contest, and a layup by Knight at the 13:45 mark gave Illinois State a 42-39 advantage. After helping ISU overcome its early first-half deficit, Knight later led ISU's effort to put the game out of reach. Knight netted six-consecutive Redbird points on a layup, a three-pointer and a free throw shot, increasing Illinois State's advantage to 17 points with 4:10 remaining. ISU went on to win by 19.
After Knight's dominating performances against No. 25 Dayton and Chicago State, he now leads ISU in scoring (14.4 points per game), rebounding (4.6 rebounds per game) and assists (2.7 assists per game), with a 1.50 assist-to-turnover ratio. His second-consecutive MVC Newcomer of the Week honor marks the first time in program history that a Redbird player has earned newcomer of the week accolades in back-to-back occasions.
While Knight and the Redbirds do not play a game this week because of final exams, Illinois State will resume action next Monday, Dec. 16, at Oakland, before wrapping up its non-conference schedule with home games against Tennessee State (Dec. 19) and DePaul (Dec. 22). Tickets can be purchased by calling the Redbird Arena ticket office at (309) 438-8000 or by clicking here.
KNIGHT NAMED COLLEGESPORTSMADNESS.COM MVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
College Sports Madness identifies the players who they believe have made the greatest impact to their team from each conference and on a national basis each week. This is Illinois State's first CollegeSportsMadness.com player of the week honor this season.
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