LEXINGTON, Ky. – After recording back-to-back double-doubles to start the season, University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior post Evelyn Akhator has been named CollegeSportsMadness.com’s National Player of the Week and Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.
Akhator had a great start to her senior season over the weekend, posting 18 points with 10 rebounds and two blocks against No. 14 Miami (Fla.) in the season opener before a career-high 28 points with 13 rebounds and four blocks against Albany, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a season ago and returned three starters.
The native of Lagos, Nigeria, is the first Kentucky player to record back-to-back double-doubles to start a season since Victoria Dunlap accomplished the feat in 2009-10. For her career, Akhator now has 15 double-doubles, which ranks her tied for ninth all-time in program history with DeNesha Stallworth.
Akhator has done a majority of her damage this season in the first half as she is averaging 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in first halves. Overall, Akhator is averaging a team-best 23.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.
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Kentucky freshman De'Aaron Fox (pictured) was tabbed the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Week following the league's opening weekend of play on Monday, Nov. 14. Fox averaged 16.5 points, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in helping lead UK to wins over Stephen F. Austin and Canisius.
Fox began his career with a 12-point, 12-assist outing vs. the Lumberjacks for his first career double-double. The 12 assists were the most for a UK player in a debut since assists began being kept in 1971-72. It's also the most assists for any UK player in a season opener. Furthermore, it tied for the fourth-most assists in a single game by any UK player in the John Calipari era.
He didn't stop there, however. In UK's second win of the season, Fox tied with sophomore Isaiah Briscoe with 21 points, the most in a game this season for a Wildcat. Fox's night was highlighted by a 9-for-9 day at the charity stripe. In his first two games, Fox is a perfect 15 of 15 from the line.
This marks the third consecutive season the Wildcats have begun the season with a Freshman of the Week honor. Skal Labissiere (2015) and Trey Lyles (2014) were the others. It also marks the sixth time in eight seasons under Calipari a freshman has been honored by the league office after the opening week of play. Fox joins Eric Bledsoe (2009), Terrence Jones (2010) and Anthony Davis (2011) as the others.
Kentucky returns to action on Tuesday in the sixth edition of the Champions Classic. UK takes on Michigan State at 7 p.m. in Madison Square Garden. The game will air live on ESPN.
Photo by Elliott Hess, UK Athletics