From staff reports/Photo by Jenny Dilworth
South Carolina forward Victaria Saxton has earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors, the league announced Tuesday, for her contributions to a pair of Gamecock wins last week. It is Saxton’s first selection for the award and the first Gamecock to earn SEC Freshman of the Week since A’ja Wilson captured the award five times during the 2014-15 season.
Saxton averaged 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game over her two outings last week as South Carolina defeated No. 19 Kentucky 74-79 on Thursday and edged out Arkansas 87-79 on Sunday.
Sunday’s game saw Saxton with a perfect shooting night — 7 of 7 from the field and 5 of 5 from the free-throw line. She turned all five of her offensive rebounds into two points and hit a pair of free throws with 19 seconds to play to end Arkansas’ comeback drive. The 6-foot-2 forward tied fellow freshman Destanni Henderson for the team lead with a career-high 19 points and narrowly missed her first career double-double with nine rebounds.
Freshmen lead SC to win
At Kentucky, Saxton played limited minutes but was effective when on the court. After the Gamecocks fell behind Kentucky early, she snagged a defensive rebound then delivered on an and-one on the other end to give the Gamecocks its first lead in the game. An offensive rebound off a missed free throw in the waning seconds of the game sealed the victory as well.
On the season, Saxton averages 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
She is among the SEC’s top 15 in blocks per game at 1.2. She has surged lately, averaging 6.3 points and 5.3 rebounds over the last five games, during which she has shot 83.3 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the free throw line.