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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Houston's Laila Blair named AAC Player of the Week
POSTED: January 10, 2022 -- 2:23 p.m. CT
Monday afternoon, the American Athletic Conference office announced Houston sophomore guard Laila Blair won the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors for the week ending January 9.
Blair's standout performances against American opponents Wichita State and Tulsa earned her the AAC Player of the Week award. Her combined 34 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists in the last two games helped the Cougars improve to 9-5, and remain undefeated in conference play (2-0) thus far this season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Laila Blair * Sophomore * Guard * Houston
Blair was a key force for 2-0 Houston to open conference play, as the Cougars remain the hottest team in The American riding a six-game winning streak overall. Blair averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game to kick off conference play. Blair scored 11 points and ripped down eight rebounds, dishing out five assists with two steals in a 66-61 win at Wichita State on January 5. Blair then lit the scoreboard up with 23 points, seven boards and three assists in an 80-67 victory against Tulsa on January 8.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Delanie Crawford * Guard * Tulsa
Crawford averaged 10.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for Tulsa in a 1-1 conference start, hitting 7-of-10 (.700) shots from the floor. Crawford chipped in six points, two rebounds and two assists for the Golden Hurricane in a 72-69 win at Memphis on January 5 and added 14 points and five rebounds at Houston on January 8.
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Weekly Honor Roll
Diamond Battles * Senior * Guard * UCF
Battles averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per contest in a 2-0 UCF week to start conference play; scored eight points with six rebounds, five assists and two steals at Tulane (January 5) and scored 11 points with five assists and four steals at East Carolina (January 8).
Elena Tsineke * Sophomore * Guard * South Florida
Tsineke scored 21 points with six rebounds and five assists for No. 24 South Florida in a win at Cincinnati (January 5); scored 13 points on 5-of-8 (.625) shooting in the second half.
Jasmine Smith * Senior * Guard * SMU
Smith turned in 10 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for SMU in a conference rout at Memphis (January 5); tallied eight of 10 points in the second half.
Mia Davis * Graduate * Forward * Temple
Davis hit 10-of-17 (.588) attempts from the floor on the way to scoring a team-high 23 points in a win at Cincinnati (January 8); added seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in the victory.
Maddie Bittle * Senior * Guard * Tulsa
Bittle logged 16.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game on 64.7 percent shooting for Tulsa in a 1-1 week; scored a career-high 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting and the game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds in a win at Memphis (January 5).
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