Feb. 5, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - On a weekly basis, IUHOOSIERS.com will recognize the top performance in Hoosier Athletics by selecting an IU Athlete of the Week. For the week ending Feb. 5, junior guard Nikki Smith was the winner. The honor was the third for Smith and the IU women's basketball team this season.
Smith netted a team-high 22 points in a 83-56 win over Wisconsin on Feb. 1. She sank four 3-pointers and shot 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the floor. In a four-point win over Minnesota on Feb. 4, Smith was one of three players with 10 points and registered a team-high four assists in the come-from-behind win. On the week, she averaged 16.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while shooting 55 percent (11-of-20) from the floor and 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from the 3-point line.
The 5-9 guard is currently averaging a team-high 12.7 points per game, and is shooting 36.9 percent (93-of-252) from the field and 36.1 percent (52-of-144) from the 3-point line. Smith is also shooting a team-best 77.9 (67-of-86) from the charity stripe.
The Hoosiers open a two-game road swing when they face the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison on Thursday, Feb. 4. Tip-off in the Kohl Center is set for 8 p.m. EST.
Smith was one of many Hoosier athletes that turned in strong performances on the week, including A.J. Ratliff (men's basketball), Kiwan Lawson (men's track and field), Courtney Johnson (women's track and field), Dara McLoughlin (men's tennis) and Alba Berdala (women's tennis).
G - Jr. - Indianapolis, Ind. - North Central
A.J. Ratliff scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, including nine in the final five minutes, to help Indiana overcome a two-point halftime deficit and knock off No. 2 Wisconsin on Jan. 31. The victory snapped the Badgers' 17-game winning streak and gave the Hoosiers their first win over a top-two team since beating Duke on March 31, 2002. Ratliff shot 7-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-6 from 3-point range. He followed that effort with 15 points and five rebounds at Iowa on Feb. 3. Ratliff finished the week averaging 17.5 points and four rebounds while shooting 66.7 percent (12-of-18) from the field and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from beyond the arc.
Sprints/Jumps - Sr. - Columbus, Ohio - Marion-Franklin
Kiwan Lawson earned top-five finishes in the 200-meter dash and the long jump at the Indiana Relays on Feb. 2-3. Lawson's time of 21.97 in the 200-meter dash invitational was good for fourth, and was also a personal best. He was third in the long jump with a leap of 7.30 meters.
Hurdles - Sr. - Columbus, Ohio - Brookhaven
Courtney Johnson ran a time of 8.42 in the 60-meter hurdles at the Indiana Relays on Feb. 2-3 to qualify provisionally for the NCAA tournament. Her time came in the semifinals of the event and ranks as a personal best and the fifth-best time in school history.
Jr. - Dublin, Ireland - Belvedere
Dara McLoughlin played at No. 1 singles for the first time this season, going 1-1 on Feb. 3. He defeated Trent Hagen of Marquette in three sets, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-2. McLoughlin also teamed with Thomas Richter at No. 1 doubles to win both matches on the weekend against Marquette and Northern Illinois.
So. - Gerona, Spain - Ausias March
Alba Berdala, ranked No. 86 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), won both of her matches on the day at No. 1 singles and doubles against Marquette and Ball State on Feb. 4. She beat Marquette's Lauren Little, 6-4, 6-2, and defeated Ball State's Haly Calderwood, 6-0, 6-1. Berdala teamed with senior Laura McGaffigan in doubles.