USF's Laksa honored, Bulls move to 19th
Bulls 6-foot freshman Kitija Laksa, possibly the nation's most proficient 3-point shooter over the last six days, was named American Athletic Conference women's player of the week on Monday.
The honor comes less than 18 hours after Laksa -- a member of the Latvian national team -- went 5-for-7 from long range in the Bulls' 75-59 loss Sunday to top-ranked Connecticut at home. Two came in a 39-second span in the third period, cutting the Bulls' deficit to one.
In her last three contests, she's 17-for-27 from behind the 3-point line, including an 8-for-12 performance in Thursday's 83-56 rout of SMU. Laksa's 38 points in that victory were second-most in a game in AAC history.
"She's a real experienced freshman, you can tell," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said following his team's victory Sunday.
"Sometimes you get kids to come from overseas, they can do one thing, and you try to get the most out of them. She impressed me that she's not just gonna stand there and shoot 3's. She's more than that. I think she's gonna be really good."
Meantime, the Bulls (10-4) moved up three spots -- to 19th -- in the latest Associated Press poll following Sunday's loss, during which they led by eight in the first period.
USF, missing top rebounder and No. 2 scorer Alisia Jenkins (ankle), became only the fourth team this season to come within 20 points of the No. 1 Huskies. Two of the four -- Notre Dame and Maryland -- remain in the top eight.
"We've been coming down here a long time, and every time we come down here, Jose has a better team each time," Auriemma said. "It's unfortunate that they weren't at full strength today."