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Maryland’s Jalen Smith, Shakira Austin named Big Ten Freshmen of the Week

It’s Smith’s second time earning the honor and Austin’s third.

Maryland basketball Jalen Smith vs. Loyola (MD) Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

Maryland basketball’s Jalen Smith and Shakira Austin each earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors Monday. Both forwards have now won the award multiple times this season.

Smith scored a career-high 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the Terps’ lone outing last week, a 94-71 win over Loyola (Md.) on Tuesday. He added eight rebounds and two blocks in the performance. Austin’s team played Loyola one day earlier, winning 83-48, and she went 8-of-12 in a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double, her fourth of the season. She earned Co-Freshman of the Week honors with Michigan’s Naz Hamilton.

Both rookies have now won Freshman of the Week multiple times this season. Smith and Austin swept the Big Ten’s rookie honor in the first week of the season, when each posted a double-double in their collegiate debut (Smith had 19 points and 13 rebounds against Delaware, while Austin tallied 12 points, 21 boards and seven blocks against Coppin State). Austin also took home the award on Nov. 19 after a pair of strong performances in road wins against George Washington and then-No. 10 South Carolina.

Smith is averaging 11.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, good for third and second on the Terps, respectively. Austin hasn’t started a game for Brenda Frese’s team, but her versatile skill set at 6’5 has been a nightmare for every Maryland opponent. In 10 games, she has 100 points, 118 rebounds and 27 blocks this season.

The 10-0 women’s team moved up into the AP top five this week, checking in at No. 5. The men’s team is 9-2 this season and went 1-1 in its early pair of Big Ten games. The Terps are just outside the AP top 25, garnering the 27th-most points in this week’s poll. After lengthy breaks for final exams, both squads will be back in action later this week. The women visit Delaware on Thursday, while the men host Seton Hall on Saturday.