Napier named player of the week

By Ted Ward, @TedWard_DE

After a weekend in which she scored 53 points in two games, SIU women’s basketball redshirt junior Rishonda Napier has been named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week.

Napier scored 23 points in a win against Missouri State on Friday and dropped a career-high 30 in Sunday’s victory against Wichita State. The guard averaged 26.5 points and 4.5 assists during the games. 

She shot 19-39 (48.7 percent) from the field and 9-14 (64.3 percent) from the 3-point range in the two games. The 5-foot-5 guard attributed her shooting success to the screens the Saluki post players set for her after Sunday’s game.


“It makes a big difference, just to make sure you’ve got all your mechanics down,” said Napier, who was 10-19 from the floor, including 6-8 behind the 3-point line Sunday. “It definitely helps your shooting percentage when you have time to think about your shot and make sure everything is set.”

The Burbank, Calif., native is leading the Salukis in scoring with 15.2 points per game and is second in the MVC in 3-point percentage, making 36 percent of her shots from long range.

This is her second player of the week award of the season. 

SIU will hit the road against Illinois State at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Normal.

Thomas Donley contributed to this story.

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or 618-534-3303