ISU's Jamie Russell earned more Missouri Valley Conference honors.
By WJBC Staff
ST. LOUIS - Illinois State women's basketball player Jamie Russell was a repeat selection on the Missouri Valley Conference first team and all-defensive team, it was announced today (Wednesday) by the league office.
Also earning Valley recoginiotion were Janae Smith and Candace Sykes. Smith was a second-team selection, while Sykes gained honorable mention recognition for the second straight year.
Russell, a Valley Scholar-Athlete selection, has started all 30 games this season and is the team’s leading scorer with 14.2 points per game. She has tallied double-digit performances in 21 games, including nine straight games with a double-digit scoring effort.
Besides leading ISU in points per game, the Rock Falls native leads the team in steals (75), free throw percentage (.870) and ranks second in assists (86). Russell was named the MVC Player of the Week on two occasions.
Smith started 29 of 30 games, averaging the second most minutes. She is the second-leading scorer, averaging 13.3 and leads the team with 8.4 rebounds and 31 blocked shots. A six-time Valley Newcomer of the Week selection, she recorded eight double-double performances and has scored in double digits in all but nine games.
The Matteson native ranks in the top-10 in five Valley statistiical categories, the most for any Redbird.
Sykes averaged 13.3 points per game and leads the Redbirds in 3-pointers made with 62 and 3-point field goal percentage (34 percent). She was second on the team in rebounds, pulling down 5.5 and blocks with 21.
The Redbirds enter the league tournament Friday at St. Charles, Mo., with a 21-9 record and the No. 3 seed. They face No. 6 Bradley at Family Arena at 8:35 p.m. The game can be heard on WJBC (1230 AM).