Smith named Big South Player of the Week

Published 5:00 pm Friday, January 7, 2022

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After two huge wins for Longwood Women’s hoops, Akila Smith was named the Big South Player of the Week with back-to-back double-double performances in the first two conference games of the season.

Smith was able to average 23.5 points and 13 rebounds over two games, grabbing herself two more double-doubles on the year. She is now tied for first in the Big South for double-doubles on the season with five, ranking 30th nationally.

Against North Carolina A&T, Smith grabbed 22 points and 12 rebounds to snatch the win against the newest competitor in the Big South conference, while also putting an end to Longwood’s six-game losing streak. Smith went 10-12 from the field, shooting 83.3 percent. Smith also grabbed seven more blocks against the Aggies, adding to her total and remaining first in blocks in the conference.

In Saturday’s game against the tough Presbyterian team, Smith scored a season-high 25 points and 14 rebounds, while adding one block and three assists. Not only does Smith make an impact in the stat columns, she is a focal point for leadership in both the Lancers offense and defense.

Smith, along with several other veterans on Longwood, demonstrated composure during the Blue Hose rally in the final minutes of Saturday’s game. Smith sank two free throws in the final minutes to break up Presbyterian’s late run and allowed the Lancers to fend off the Blue Hose.

Longwood was the only Big South team to go 2-0 in the previous week – amongst the teams that were able to play two games. The Lancers next conference game will be in Willett Hall on Wednesday Jan. 5 at 7 P.M. against UNC Asheville.