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Smith Nabs Player of the Week Honors

January 26, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Big South Preseason Player of the Year Anthony Smith earned his first career Big South Choice Hotels Player of the Week award on Monday.

Big South Preseason Player of the Year Anthony Smith earned his first career Big South Choice Hotels Player of the Week award on Monday.

Click here to view final minute of Anthony Smith and the Liberty Flames comeback victory at High Point, Jan. 26, 2009 (Video File)

Liberty senior guard Anthony Smith has been named the Big South Conference New Balance Men's Basketball Player of the Week for games played Jan. 19-25, as announced by the league office.

Smith's honor comes one week after teammate Seth Curry earned his second nod as player of the week this season, marking the first time since the 2000-01 campaign, Liberty has boasted back-to-back players of the week. Chris Caldwell and Maurice Watkins earned the consecutive honors that season.

Smith averaged 21.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 steals and shot .563 percent from three-point range (9-of-16) for the Flames last week. He scored 24 points, including 19 in the second half, to lead Liberty to a 61-56 come-from-behind victory at High Point on Jan. 20. Against the Panthers, Smith registered three steals in the final 23 seconds to lead the comeback. He also scored eight straight points to bring the Flames within one, after trailing by nine with 1:43 remaining.

Smith then tallied 18 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in a double-overtime loss to Radford. Smith, only 6-5, pulled down his 12 rebounds despite playing in the post against Radford's twin towers, 6-8 Joey Lynch-Flohr and 6-11 Artisiom Parakhouski. He also dished out five assists against the Highlanders and hit three crucial three-point buckets after halftime to keep Liberty in the game.

The player of the week honor is Smith's first of his career and the first conference weekly award for the Big South Preseason Player of the Year since being named Big South Freshman of the week on Jan. 2, 2006.

Liberty now has registered three player of the week awards in one season for the first time since 2004-05, when Leo Lightbourne won the award twice and Larry Blair finished off the trio of honors with one selection.

Liberty returns to the hardwood Tuesday night, hosting the same High Point Panthers squad the Flames defeated in comeback fashion seven days prior. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., inside the Vines Center.