TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State freshman basketball player Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench Team following a postseason poll of the league’s beat writers.
It is the first career league honor for Smith. He is the sixth Sycamore to earn All-Bench honors from the Missouri Valley Conference and the first since Jordan Printy in 2011.
Smith is joined on the All-Bench Team by the league’s Sixth Man Of The Year Ethan Wragge of Creighton, D.J. Balentine of Evansville, UNI’s Matt Bohannon, Missouri State’s Nathan Scheer and Nick Wiggins of Wichita State.
Smith has played in all 30 games for the Sycamores this season, including three starts. He averaged 22.1 minutes played per game and has scored 161 points, an average of 5.4 ppg. That is the highest for the Sycamores of anyone who has not been a regular starter (defined by the league as any player who has not started at least 25 percent of his team’s games).
Smith also has averaged 3.2 rebounds per game while compiling 31 assists, 12 blocked shots and 17 steals.
He began the season strong as Smith tied for a team-high 11 points in his Sycamore debut at No. 13-ranked UCLA, hitting 4 of 8 shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers with three rebounds and a steal in 27 minutes of action. Smith scored 18 points, hitting 7 of 11 shots from the field with five rebounds in the victory over High Point.
In his first career start, Smith led the team with 20 points, hitting 6 of 9 shots from the field and eight free throws at Morehead State. He pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds against Miami at the Diamond Head Classic and went on to tie a career high with two steals at Creighton.
Smith went 4 of 4 from the free-throw line to score six points with three rebounds in the road victory over No. 14/15 Wichita State and tallied seven points off the bench in the home victory over No. 13/16 Creighton. He scored 12 points (all in the first half) by hitting 6 of 8 shots from the field against Southern Illinois.
ISU travels to St. Louis, Mo., this weekend for the annual MVC tournament in the Scottrade Center. The fifth-seeded Sycamores will open play against No. 4 seed Evansville in the quarterfinals at 3:35 p.m. EST Friday. The game will be televised on the MVC TV Network as well as ESPN3.
• Evans honored again — Rose-Hulman senior Liz Evans earned her fourth career NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year honor, according to an announcement by the U.S. Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association on Wednesday.
Evans previously earned NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year honors during the 2010 indoor and outdoor seasons and the 2011 outdoor season.
Evans has secured the top seed in the women’s high jump for the NCAA Division III indoor national championships that take place Saturday at noon EST at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. She cleared 5 feet, 10 inches last weekend at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
The mathematics and electrical-engineering double major was named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Field Athlete of the Year after claiming conference titles in the high jump and long jump. In total, she surpassed 5-8 3/4 in the high jump five different times this season, each of which would keep her in the Division III national lead.
Evans swept the 2012 Division III indoor and outdoor national championships for her third and fourth career high-jump national titles. The six-time All-American has also been named NCAA Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year three times and the HCAC Field Athlete of the Year five times in her career.
She also looks to become the first student-athlete in Division III history to win five consecutive national championships in the women’s indoor and outdoor high jump.
• More Engineers honored — The Rose-Hulman men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams earned All-Academic honors from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, according to results released Wednesday.
The men’s swimming and diving team combined for a 3.30 team grade-point average in the fall to rank 18th nationally in NCAA Division III. The women’s squad also ranked among the national leaders with a GPA of 3.29.
Rose joined DePauw as the only Indiana-based Division III institutions to qualify both for the Men’s and Women’s All-Academic Team. Only Rose-Hulman and Wheaton were represented in both genders from the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.