Women’s basketball forward Bonnie Smith ’04 did something no one else on her team has done this season: she became Ivy League Player of the Week Monday.
With forward Tory Mauseth ’05, the team’s third-leading scorer, not playing this weekend for personal reasons, Smith raised her game to a new level. On the road against Princeton University (9-16, 4-7 Ivy) Feb. 28 and the following night at the University of Pennsylvania (12-12, 6-5), Smith dominated, pouring in at least 20 points in each game as the Bulldogs (6-19, 3-9 Ivy) went 1-1.
“With Tory [Mauseth] gone, coach [Amy Backus] and the team expected me to step it up a little over the weekend,” Smith said.
And that is exactly what she did.
In the 74-71 loss to the Tigers Friday night, Smith dropped a career-high 26 points and collected six rebounds, while shooting over 50 percent from the field.
Saturday night, Smith’s 20 points, 10 rebounds and three steals led the Elis over the Quakers 75-63 at the Palestra. The win over the Red and Blue was Backus’ career win No. 200.
“The amount of points that she scored was crucial with Tory [Mauseth] not there, who is a consistent scorer,” said teammate Lindsay Page ’05, the team’s second-leading scorer with 10.5 points per game.
But team rebounding was the key to victory, Smith said. Averaging 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game this season, Smith far surpassed her normal output.
“This weekend was kind of her breakout,” Page said. “It was a matter of time until everyone else saw what she was capable of.”
Despite her scoring outburst last weekend, Smith, who has both started and come off the bench this season, said her role on the team has not changed.
Aside from making a difference on the scoreboard, Smith’s play significantly affected her teammates.
“It just got our momentum going, it got us excited, it got us fired up,” Page said.
The Bulldogs will need that momentum this weekend, when they close their season hosting Ivy League powerhouse Harvard (20-4, 12-0 Ivy) Friday night and Dartmouth (14-11, 8-4 Ivy), tied for second in the Ivy League, Saturday night.
“We’re peaking, but unfortunately it’s at the end of the season,” Smith said.
The Bulldogs, with Mauseth’s return and Smith’s recent success, look to spoil the Crimson’s undefeated season and take down the Big Green this weekend.