BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the second time this season, Razorback Nick Smith Jr., has been named the SEC Freshman of the Week as he averaged 25 points and 3.5 rebounds versus Georgia and #2 Alabama.
He scored a season-high 26 points in the Georgia win and added his second-best, season-scoring output with 24 points at Alabama.
Versus Georgia, Smith, in his fourth game back after missing 13 games due to injury, drained 5-of-8 from 3-point range (9-of-14 from the field overall) as part of his 26-point effort to lead the Razorbacks to a 32-point win over the Bulldogs. It was Arkansas’ ninth-largest margin of victory in an SEC game. Also, Arkansas set a program record for the best shooting percentage in an SEC game (63.8%) while making a season-high 11 3-pointers (20 attempts) thanks to Smith’s five. In the second half, he scored 18 of his 26 points on 6-of-7 shooting (4-of-5 3PT) including a personal 8-0 run with a jumper and back-to-back 3’s to give Arkansas its largest lead of the game (34 points) with 4:32 left.
At Alabama, Smith saw his most extensive action in a true road game. He played 39:38 minutes, scored 24 points, pulled down a season-high six rebounds and tied a season-high with two steals. Smith made 2-of-3 from 3-point range and scored 14 of his 24 in the second half (5-of-13 FG and 2-of-2 3PT). With Arkansas down 12 with three minutes to play, Smith helped Arkansas out-score Bama 20-10 as Smith scored seven of his 14 second-half points to get the Hogs to within two (85-83). First, he had a steal and fastbreak dunk with 1:45 left to make it a five-point game. Then, he made two free throws with 23 seconds left to make it a four-point game. Last, Smith made a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to make it a two-point game.
In the only two times this year Smith has started two games in the same week, he was tabbed the SEC Freshman of the Week on both occasions. Smith was also honored on Dec. 12 – adding National Freshman of the Week honors – when he scored 22 points in a win over UNC Greensboro and 21 points in a win over Oklahoma.
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