Player of the Week

Player of the Week

The chilling winds on Huntington Avenue haven’t stopped junior guard Shaleyse Smallwood from heating up over the past month and a half.

The Colonial Athletic Association’s (CAA) seventh leading scorer has averaged 18.1 points the past 11 games, including her 1,000th career point Sunday in a 71-57 loss to then-No. 25 James Madison, earning her The Northeastern News Player of the Week honors.

“I knew it was close,” Smallwood said of the milestone. “But I wasn’t really thinking about it.”

With 15:10 left in the game, she missed a layup and a JMU player grabbed the rebound but quickly turned the ball over. Smallwood broke to the basket for the easy deuce, making her the 13th player in NU women’s basketball history to surpass the 1,000-point barrier. She had 21 points and five assists in the game.

The milestone comes in what is arguably the best season of Smallwood’s stint in the red and white. In addition to being seventh in the conference with a career-best 14.8 points a game, she is 15th in shooting percentage, posting a career-high .407 clip.

All of this comes despite missing five games and still being hobbled by a bad ankle.

“My ankle still isn’t 100 percent, but I try not to let it hold me back,” she said.

In an 80-74 loss at Virginia Commonwealth on Jan. 18, she proved too quick and elusive for the slower Rams, going off for a career-high 31 points on 12-25 shooting.

The Boston native and 2004-05 America East Rookie of the Year has also shown the ability to slide over to the point from her usual two or three slot. She posted a career-high 91 assists while turning the ball over just 69 times, placing her sixth in the CAA in assist-turnover ratio this season. She also ranks fourth in the CAA with 4.33 assists per game, after ranking eighth in 2005-06.

“I’ve played the point before. I prefer the two or three, [but I’ll] play whatever,” she said.

Prior to scoring her 1,000th point Sunday, Smallwood helped key a convincing Husky win Thursday at Solomon Court. The Huskies downed Georgia State 64-42, after losing 76-51 to them Jan. 4.

Smallwood was sidelined for the first game, and head coach Daynia La- Force Mann cited her presence as one of the reasons for the turnaround, as Smallwood posted 19 points and eight assists in the win.

– Nate Owen, News Staff

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