Smith Named Valley Newcomer of the Year
March 14, 2013
ST. LOUIS - For the second-consecutive season, the Illinois State women's basketball team had a student-athlete named the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year award, as Janae Smithreceived the accolade Thursday, as announced by the league office.
It is only the second time in program history that a Redbird has received the Newcomer of the Year honor. Jamie Russellreceived the award for her efforts during the 2011-12 season.
Head Coach Stephanie Glancebelieves Smith is deserving of the honor for her hard work and success on the court.
"In my opinion, Janae is clearly the Newcomer of the Year," Glance said. "She ranks in many statistical categories in the conference. She is one of the leading scorers and rebounders, and is at the top in blocks and field goal percentage. That is a huge compliment to Janae. She is a competitor and driven to succeed on the court. We are pleased to see her being recognized as not only one of the best players at Illinois State, but in the Missouri Valley Conference as well."
Smith, who transferred to Illinois State from College of Charleston, has competed in every game this season and started in 29 of them, averaging the second-most minutes on the team. She is the second-leading scorer, averaging 13.3 points per game and leads the team with 8.4 rebounds per game and 31 blocks. Smith, a six-time Valley Newcomer of the Week selection, is third on the team in steals with 25 and has recorded eight double-double performances and has scored in double-digits in all but nine games this season, earning All-Valley Second Team honors.
Smith poured in a career-high 31 points against Memphis (Nov. 18) and grabbed 16 rebounds against Princeton (Dec. 19), which was a career-high. The Matteson, Ill., native has also recorded career-highs in assists (6), blocks (4) and steals (3) this season. Smith is in the top-10 in the Valley rankings in five categories, the most for any Redbird.
The Redbirds enter the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Charles, Mo., as the No. 3 seed. ISU will play Friday at Family Arena at 8:35 p.m., against No. 6-seeded Bradley.
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