Smith erupted for 28 points, 12 rebounds and a league-record 11 drawn fouls as Team Smith rallied late to secure an 86-84 victory over Team Harrison to open Wednesday night’s doubleheader at Fair Park Coliseum.
Smith, who became the first player in league history to open a season with four straight double-doubles, netted 22 of her 28 points after the intermission as Team Smith overcame a nine-point halftime deficit. The former Baylor standout earned MVP 1 honors after making 8-of-19 shots from the floor and was 12-for-15 at the free throw line while registering 639 leaderboard points.
Guard Kelsey Mitchell, the game’s MVP 2 selection, chipped in 20 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field, including a trio of three-pointers, while going 7-for-8 at the free throw line. Mitchell ended the night with 518 leaderboard points, marking her third straight game with 500 or more points.
Guard Sydney Colson added a season-high 16 points with a game-high seven assists and three steals in the victory for Team Smith. Colson reached the 500-point mark for the first time in her career after closing action with 520 leaderboard points.
Forward Isabelle Harrison, who tallied 505 leaderboard points, secured MVP 3 honors in the loss for Team Harrison after posting a career-high 40 points and 12 rebounds for the fifth double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career. The former Tennessee star was 15-for-23 from the field and sank 10-of-11 free throws in 34 minutes.
With the score tied at 82-82 with 51 seconds remaining, Mitchell hit a three-pointer from the corner to give Team Smith a three-point edge with 31.1 ticks left. After Harrison trimmed the margin to 85-84 with eight seconds left, Mitchell split two free throws for a two-point advantage. Harrison’s attempt to tie the game at the final horn was blocked by guard Crystal Bradford.
Smith and Mitchell each moved up two spots on the leaderboard with their winning performances. Smith owns the league lead with 2,042 points, while Mitchell stands third in the circuit with 1,817 points. Despite the loss, Harrison still holds second place on the league ladder with 2,023 points.
Team Smith challenged a personal foul against forward NaLyssa Smith with 8:14 remaining in the fourth quarter … The challenge was unsuccessful and the foul was confirmed … Teams are now 6-for-10 (.600) in captain’s challenges through seven games.
Team Smith and Team Harrison battled to an 18-all draw in the third quarter, marking the first stanza to finish in a tie score this season … Team Smith secured the rollover points by edging Team Harrison, 34-23, in the final period.
Team Smith and Team Harrison teamed up to make 12 three-pointers in Wednesday’s opener, upping the league season total to 100 triples through seven games … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every three-pointer this season as part of its ‘Trees for Threes’ initiative.
Forward N’dea Jones, who moved up the leaderboard six spots, set season highs with eight points and nine rebounds while making the first start of her Athletes Unlimited career.
Harrison, who extended her streak of consecutive double-digit scoring efforts to eight games, became the second player this season to register 30 or more points after guard Odyssey Sims opened the season with 30 points against Team Williams.
Harrison is the third player in Athletes Unlimited Basketball history to net 40 or more points in a single game … Forward Tianna Hawkins set the league record with 43 points against Team Cloud on Feb. 5, 2022, while guard/forward DiJonai Carrington had 41 points on Feb. 18, 2022, against Team Hawkins.
Harrison now owns nine 20-point efforts in 19 career Athletes Unlimited games, including three this season.
Smith netted her fourth consecutive 20-point performance to begin the season after pacing Team Smith with her season-high 28 points … She also joins Hawkins as the only players in league history with a streak of four or more games with a double-double … Hawkins finished the inaugural season with a double-double in her final eight games.
Smith also set an Athletes Unlimited Basketball single-game record by drawing 11 fouls, eclipsing the previous mark of 10 fouls set twice during the inaugural campaign.
In addition, Smith joins Carrington as the only players to record an “Athletes Unlimited Triple-Double” after scoring 28 points with 12 rebounds and 11 drawn fouls … Carrington accomplished the feat twice during the inaugural season, collecting 41 points with 14 rebounds and 10 fouls drawn against Team Hawkins on Feb. 18, 2022, and posting 28 points with 11 caroms and 10 fouls drawn the following night against Team Sims.
Guard Courtney Williams scored in double figures for the third time in four games with her 17-point performance … Williams made 6-of-18 shots from the field, including a 3-for-8 showing from long range, while sinking all three free throws … She also tallied nine rebounds, five assists with a steal in 37 minutes.
Mitchell ran her streak of consecutive double-digit scoring games to 15 in a row with her 20-point outing … She has tallied 10 or more points in all 15 games of her Athletes Unlimited career.
Forward Jasmine Walker authored her second straight double-digit scoring output with 13 points.
- #1 – NaLyssa Smith (Team Smith, +90)
- #2 – Kelsey Mitchell (Team Smith, +60)
- #3 – Isabelle Harrison (Team Harrison, +30)
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© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: MK Ridgway
Kierstan Bell continues first pro year with AU Hoops
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Krystina Brown
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