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Kaylene Smikle named B1G Freshman of Week program best third time



Kaylene Smikle
Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Kaylene Smikle made program history on Monday in being named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the third time in a single season. She previously won for the weeks of December 19, 2022 and January 9, 2023.

This past week for Rutgers women’s basketball, Smikle averaged 19.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals in losses to No. 14/16 Michigan and Michigan State.

Against the Spartans on Sunday, Smikle scored 27 points on 8 of 15 shooting and 9 of 10 from the foul line. She added 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 3 steals. It was the 10th game of the season in which Smikle scored 20+ points, which is second most of any freshman in division I college basketball.

Smikle has now eclipsed the 20 point mark in five of her last six games. It was the 17th time in 21 games played that Smikle has scored in double digits. She is currently third in Big Ten play in scoring average at 21.1 points in nine league games. In shooting 43.3% from the floor in league action, Smikle ranks 12th in the conference. She leads all Big Ten players with 69 free throw attempts and is 9th in shooting 84.1% from the charity stripe. Her 1.8 three-pointers per game average in league play is 17th most. The rookie is also fourth in conference play in averaging 2.1 steals per contest.

For the season, Smikle leads Rutgers with 17.3 points per game and has led the team in scoring in 13 of 21 games. She also averages 4.4 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.6 assists this season.

The Scarlet Knights are back in action against Penn State on Thursday, January 26 at Jersey Mike’s Arena. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and will stream live on Big Ten Plus. RU lost to PSU 90-72 in Happy Valley on December 30. You can buy tickets in the rematch for head coach Coquese against her former team here.

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