Knight Earns Third Valley Newcomer of the Week Award
Dec. 23, 2013
ST. LOUIS - For the third time this season, junior guard Daishon Knight is the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the week, as announced by the league office Monday. The Redbirds have now earned four Valley Newcomer of the Week honors this season.
Knight - who is the first and only other Redbird since Boo Richardson to receive the award three times - led Illinois State with 15.3 points per game in the Redbirds' three contests last week, as ISU went 2-1, with wins over BIG EAST foe DePaul and Tennessee State. Knight has helped the Redbirds win six out of their last seven non-conference games.
Along with leading the team in scoring, Knight also averaged 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals per contest last week. Ten of Knight's 46 points came at the free throw line where he shot 83.3 percent. The Baltimore, Md., native was instrumental in helping the Redbirds secure non-conference victories over a Big Ten team (at Northwestern), a Top-25 program (vs. No. 25 Dayton) and a BIG EAST opponent (vs. DePaul) all in the same season for the first time in program history.
Knight led the Redbird offense in all three games last week, including a 16-point effort with six rebounds, two assists and one steal in Sunday afternoon's win over DePaul. He helped ISU jump out to a 5-2 lead early by draining a three-pointer at the 16:30 mark. Then, late in the half, with the game tied, 34-34, Knight dished an assist to Nick Zeisloft who drained a three with two seconds remaining, giving the Redbirds a 37-34 halftime advantage.
In the second half, after DePaul established a seven-point advantage, Knight responded with a steal, followed by a fastbreak layup to cut into the Blue Demon's lead. Later, with DePaul leading by two points at the 6:57 mark, Knight buried a three-pointer to regain ISU's one-point advantage. Just over a minute later, he scored another fastbreak layup to lift Illinois State ahead, 58-50. Knight then helped solidify ISU's victory by making a free throw with 14 seconds remaining, increasing Illinois State's lead to three, and the Redbirds held on for their fourth win over in-state rival DePaul in 22 tries.
Knight also led ISU offensively in Thursday night's win over Tennessee State with 16 points - all in the second half - plus three steals, one assist and two rebounds. He was also a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. With Illinois State leading narrowly by three points at the 5:32 mark, Knight forced a steal, hustled down the floor, and netted a fastbreak layup to lift ISU ahead by five. He then proceeded to score eight-consecutive free throws without a miss during the final two minutes to solidify Illinois State's win over the Tigers.
In ISU's loss at Oakland Monday evening, Knight teamed up with Paris Lee to lead the Redbirds with 14 points, including a 4-for-9 (44.4 percent) effort from beyond the arc. Knight also collected four rebounds, three assists and one steal. The junior guard helped ISU jump ahead early by scoring a jumper at the 19:37 mark in the first half. A three-pointer by Knight with 15:29 remaining in the first half pushed Illinois State in front by 10. He proceeded to hit two more Redbird three-pointers to finish with 11 first-half points.
After Knight's impressive offensive performances against DePaul, Tennessee State and Oakland, he leads ISU in scoring (14.7 points per game), rebounding (4.4 rebounds per game) and assists (2.5 assists per game), with a 1.25 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Knight and the Redbirds will return to action Thursday, Jan. 2, when they travel to Springfield, Mo., to open Missouri Valley Conference action at Missouri State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. against the Bears at JQH Arena.
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