Women's Basketball Sweeps Valley Weekly Honors Again
Nov. 26, 2012
ST. LOUIS - Senior Candace Sykes and sophomore transfer Janae Smith were named the Missouri Valley Conference Player and Newcomer of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday. It is the first weekly Valley honor for Sykes and the third-straight accolade for Smith.
"It's an honor for our program that for a second time Illinois State players have been named both player and newcomer of the week," head coach Stephanie Glance said. "For a third-straight week Janae has received newcomer of the week honors. Both Candace and Janae are producing very well on the offensive end of the floor."
Sykes was ISU's leading scorer in both of the Redbird road wins last week, netting 20-plus points in both games. At Western Kentucky, Sykes poured in 22 points, one point shy of her career-high 23 points. Sykes made 50 percent of her field goal attempts (7-of-14) and three-point attempts (5-of-10) in 28 minutes. She also brought down eight boards and recorded a steal, assist and two blocks in the 83-68 victory. In ISU's 86-74 win at UIC, Sykes had 20 points, making 7-of-14 field goal attempts. She also brought down three boards in 26 minutes.
Sykes averaged 21.0 points and 5.5 rebounds last week. Through three games, Sykes is averaging 18.3 points per game, which leads the Redbirds. She is connecting on 49 percent of her field goal attempts and 44 percent of her threes.
Smith recorded the first double-double of her Redbird career in ISU's win over Western Kentucky, 83-68, Saturday. In the game, Smith tallied 11 points and 12 rebounds, a career high on the boards. The Matteson, Ill., native was 3-of-5 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Against UIC, Smith had 18 points, shooting 8-of-17, and seven rebounds, as the Redbirds defeated the Flames, 86-74. Through the two Redbird road victories last week, Smith averaged 14.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game.
The forward averages 16.8 points per game through five contests. Smith leads the team with 8.6 boards per game and seven blocks. She is second on the team with a 53.4 percent field goal percentage, playing a team-high 33.6 minutes per game.
It marks the fifth MVC weekly honor for the Redbirds. Russell earned player of the week on Nov. 11.
Sykes, Smith and the Redbirds will begin a five-game homestand Thursday at 7:05 p.m., against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
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