Recap: Team Smith uses all-around effort to defeat Team Hillmon in tight finish
Layshia Clarendon nets game-winner
DALLAS — The teams may have changed from last week to this week, but the information team captains NaLyssa Smith and Naz Hillmon collected in Saturday’s Week Two finale came in handy as the duo led their teams in Wednesday’s Week Three opener in Athletes Unlimited Basketball action at Fair Park Coliseum.
In the end, it was Team Smith getting another victory over Team Hillmon on a late basket by guard Layshia Clarendon to secure an 88-86 verdict.
Smith, who authored her league-leading sixth double-double of the season, pushed her way to the top of the leaderboard after securing MVP 2 recognition and 491 leaderboard points. The former Baylor product, who finished with 17 points, converted 6-of-15 shots from the floor and was 3-for-6 at the free throw line while grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds.
Clarendon, meanwhile, claimed the first Game MVP award of her Athletes Unlimited career with the MVP 3 award after netting 12 points with a game-high eight assists. They paced all players with 534 leaderboard points in the victory, improving her position in the league standings to eighth place.
Guard Lexie Brown, who missed the final two games of Week Two, returned with a vengeance on Wednesday night to garner MVP 1 distinction with a career-high 21 points, including a league single-game record-tying six three-pointers. Brown earned 370 leaderboard points in the loss for Team Hillmon, moving the former Duke guard up nine spots on the season leaderboard.
With the score tied at 86-all, Team Smith called a timeout before Clarendon drove to the basket and converted a layup to give the squad an 88-86 advantage with 2.0 seconds remaining. After Team Hillmon called a timeout to advance the ball, Hillmon’s last-second jumper was blocked by guard Crystal Bradford to preserve the result.
Smith took over the top spot on the leaderboard pending the result of Wednesday night’s game between Team Sims and Team Mitchell. Hillmon, meanwhile, dropped one spot into fourth place in the league’s standings with 2,788 leaderboard points.
Smith has won both meetings against Hillmon as captains this season by a combined five points … She claimed a 95-92 victory last Saturday before Wednesday’s two-point result.
Team Hillmon challenged a foul call against Hillmon with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter … The challenge was unsuccessful … Teams are now 8-of-19 on captain’s challenges through 13 games.
Team Hillmon and Team Smith combined to make 24 three-pointers in Wednesday’s opener, increasing the league’s season total to 188 through 13 games … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every three-pointer made during the season as part of its ‘Trees for Threes’ initiative.
There were 14 ties and 14 lead changes in the game between the teams.
Team Smith set a league season high with eight blocked shots against Team Hillmon on Wednesday night … The squad finished the game just one block shy of the single-game record set by Team Harrison on Feb. 18, 2022 against Team Sims.
Forward Theresa Plaisance matched the Athletes Unlimited single-game record with four blocked shots in the first half … It is the seventh time a player has authored four blocks in a game in league history, including the second time this season … Guard Allisha Gray had four rejections against Team Williams on Feb. 26.
While Smith had her league-high sixth double-double of the season, her streak of six consecutive 20-point games came to an end.
Brown registered the 15th double-digit scoring performance of her Athletes Unlimited career with the 21 points on Wednesday.
Guard Lexie Hull has reached double figures in scoring in four consecutive games after notching 14 points on Wednesday night, making 6-of-9 shots from the floor, including a 2-for-4 effort from three-point range.
Guard Rebecca Harris secured a season high with seven points off the bench … Harris converted three of her six field goal attempts, including a 1-for-2 effort from three-point range.
Guard/forward Antoinette Bannister made her first appearance of the season for Team Smith on Wednesday night … The former East Carolina product knocked down her first shot of the season with 3:49 left in the third quarter on a three-pointer from the left wing.
Guard Destinee Walker authored her first double-digit scoring output of the year after finishing with 12 points … Walker, who reached double figures for the ninth time in her Athletes Unlimited career, was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, including a 2-of-2 from long range, and hit both of her free throws.
- #1 – Lexie Brown (Team Hillmon, +90)
- #2 – NaLyssa Smith (Team Smith, +60)
- #3 – Layshia Clarendon (Team Smith, +30)
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