LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky women’s basketball junior point guard Jennifer O’Neill was named espnW National Player of the Week, College Sports Madness National Women’s Basketball Player of the Week and Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, it was announced Monday.
The weekly awards are the first of O’Neill’s career and she becomes the first UK player to be named espnW National Player of the Week since former Wildcat A’dia Mathies earned the honor last season on Feb. 11, 2013. She is the second player to be named SEC Player of the Week this season after senior forward and All-America candidate DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) earned weekly honors last week.
O’Neill poured in a school-record 43 points in a thrilling 4OT, 133-130, win at No. 9 Baylor Friday night in AT&T Stadium. She scored 33 of her career-best 43 in the second half and overtime periods to help UK win its ninth straight game. The Bronx, N.Y., native broke former UK All-American Valerie Still’s school record for points in a single game (42) that was set on Dec. 19, 1982 vs. Charleston. O’Neill was a key figure in the game that set an NCAA record for combined points in a single game (263).
O’Neill finished 14-of-31 from the field and 13-of-19 from the free-throw line, which were all career highs. Her 31 field goal attempts were a school record. The 13 free throws made tie for fourth all time, while the 19 attempts are a school record. Additionally, she dished out a season-high tying six assists. In the first overtime session, O’Neill scored nine of UK’s 14 points, with seven of those points coming at the free-throw line (7-of-10). The 5-foot-6 guard was one of three Wildcats to log 45-plus minutes for the game, as she saw a career-high 46 minutes of action.
With O’Neill’s scoring outburst, she now leads the team in scoring for the season at 14.7 points per game, while ranking second in assists at 3.3 per game. Overall, she is shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from 3-point range.
The No. 5/6 Wildcats head to the Windy City on Thursday, Dec. 12, to take on DePaul (4-2) at 7 p.m. ET in the McGrath-Phillips Arena. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 with Tiffany Green and LaChina Robinson calling the action. Tickets are available on www.depaulbluedemons.com.
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