Smith named ‘Player of the Week’

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Sydney Uni Flames guard Deanna Smith has been named the Women’s National Basketball League Player of the Week after her impressive Round 16 performance helped the Flames defeat the Logan Thunder on Friday night.

Earning the accolade for the second time in season 2009/10, Smith scored 27 points in the contest, connecting on 67 per cent of her field goal attempts and four of her five three point attempts.

Exemplifying her all round importance to the Flames’ victory, Smith also contributed nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The 179cm guard has been on an offensive tear of late and has averaged 22.4 points per game throughout the month of January, which is almost double her career average.

Smith helped ensure the Flames (15-5 record) held on to second place on the WNBL ladder for another week, one game clear of third placed Canberra (14-5 record).

The 2008/09 WNBL All Star first won the award in Round 11 of this season for her integral role in Sydney Uni’s victory against the Townsville Fire.

Sydney Uni Flames centre Suzy Batkovic-Brown was also in contention for this week’s award. Already a two-time recipient of the honour this season, Batkovic-Brown was narrowly edged by her Flames teammate after scoring 29 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out six assists.

Other noteworthy performances from Round 16 included:

AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT: Tayla Roberts recorded a new career high with 18 points and nine rebounds on the road against the Bendigo Spirit, hitting eight of her nine field goal attempts.

ADELAIDE LINK LIGHTNING: Sam Woosnam led the way for the Lightning in their crucial home victory against the Fire with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Cayla Francis also recorded a double-double in the contest with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

BENDIGO BANK SPIRIT: Chelsea Aubry had a career high 28 points, including six baskets from beyond the arc in her side’s road loss to the Bulleen Boomers. Aubry also had 18 points in Bendigo’s second game of the round, but it was Kristi Harrower who top scored with 25 points at home against the AIS, to go along with team highs in rebounds with eight and assists with six.

GLOBAL METALS BULLEEN BOOMERS: Rachel Jarry top scored for the Boomers in their home victory against Bendigo with 17 points to go along with nine rebounds. Liz Cambage racked up yet another double-double in the win with 14 points and 13 rebounds and Hanna Zavecz pulled down 16 rebounds in the contest and recorded three blocked shots.

CANBERRA TRANSACT CAPITALS: Lauren Jackson continued her offensive tear since returning to Canberra scoring 25 points at home against the Thunder, to go along with 13 rebounds.

DANDENONG JAYCO RANGERS: Ashley Lindsey dominated in the Rangers home away from home win against the AIS in Hobart with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

BDS LOGAN THUNDER: Natalie Purcell had a team high 18 points on the road against Sydney Uni, while Biancia Abbott also had 18 points in a road loss to Canberra the next night, a significant feat against the Capitals’ frontline.

GO FOR 2 AND 5 PERTH LYNX: Melissa Marsh led the way for the Lynx in their home loss against the Fire, with 20 points on 50 per cent shooting.

ACUVUE SYDNEY UNI FLAMES: Mikaela Dombkins added 13 points, six rebounds and two assists in support of Smith and Batkovic-Brown.

TOWNSVILLE MCCAFE FIRE: Rohanee Cox had 22 points and 11 rebounds in her side’s road loss to a desperate Adelaide Lightning, before leading her team to a road victory on Sunday, dropping in 33 points against the Perth Lynx.

WNBL Player of the Week 2009/10

Round 1: Elyse Penaluna (Bulleen Boomers)
Round 2: Kristi Harrower (Bendigo Spirit)
Round 3: Angela Marino (Adelaide Lightning)
Round 4: Marianna Tolo (Canberra Capitals)
Round 5: Cayla Francis (Adelaide Lightning)
Round 6: Marianna Tolo (Canberra Capitals)
Round 7: Eva Afeaki (Sydney Uni Flames)
Round 8: Suzy Batkovic-Brown (Sydney Uni Flames)
Round 9: Suzy Batkovic-Brown (Sydney Uni Flames)
Round 10: Liz Cambage (Bulleen Boomers)
Round 11: Deanna Smith (Sydney Uni Flames)
Round 12: Angela Marino (Adelaide Lightning)
Round 13: Liz Cambage (Bulleen Boomers)
Round 14: Lauren Jackson (Canberra Capitals)
Round 15: Jenna O’Hea (Bulleen Boomers)
Round 16: Deanna Smith (Sydney Uni Flames)