Willamette's Smith is Selected NWC Player of the Week

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. --- Willamette University senior basketball player Mike Smith (Wing, Talent, OR/Phoenix HS) has been named Northwest Conference Player of the Week for his efforts in leading the Bearcats to wins at Whitman College and Whitworth University last week. Willamette defeated Whitman, 78-66, on Friday, Feb. 1, then downed Whitworth, 82-74, on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Smith averaged 20.5 points per game, shot 54.5% from the field (12 of 22) and made 92.3% of his free throws (12 of 13) during the week. For the season, he leads the NWC in 3-point percentage (51.5%), is sixth in overall field goal percentage (53.4%), seventh in scoring (16.9 points per game) and fourth in free throw shooting (84.2%).

Against Whitman, he tallied 22 points to top Willamette in scoring. He hit a jumper and a 3-point shot to start a 9-0 run midway thorough the second half that increased a three-point lead into a 12-point margin with 7:24 left. Against Whitworth, he scored 19 points, including a 3-pointer with just under a minute remaining that gave Willamette a 75-70 lead. For the week, Smith was 5 of 8 (62.5%) on 3-point shots.

Willamette is currently tied for third place in the NWC standings at 6-4. Linfield College and Pacific Lutheran University also own 6-4 records in conference play. Whitworth and the University of Puget Sound, both 8-2, are tied for first place. Willamette is 8-11 overall, including four wins in the Bearcats' last five games.

Mike Smith shot 54.5% from the field and 92.3% at the line last week, as Willamette defeated Whitman and Whitworth.

Mike Smith shot 54.5% from the field and 92.3% at the line last week, as Willamette defeated Whitman and Whitworth.