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Khara Smith Named BIG EAST Player of the Week



CHICAGO – DePaul senior forward Khara Smith was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week after leading the Blue Demons to a pair of league victories over Pittsburgh and Marquette.  The two-time All-American scored 29 points in each game and grabbed a total of 24 rebounds for the week.

Smith opened the week with a season-high 29 points and 14 rebounds in an 81-75 win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.  On Saturday, she followed that game with another 29-point effort in the 67-52 win at Marquette.  She also added 10 rebounds against the Golden Eagles for her 65th career double-double.

The Hillside, Ill., native is ranked among DePaul's top seven in 11 of 17 career statistical categories.  In 113 career games, she has totaled 1,936 points and 1,154 career rebounds while shooting a school-record .607 (802-1,321) from the field.  She has also tallied 99 games in double-figures and needs just 64 points to become the third player in program history with 2,000 points.  Smith is also 116 rebounds shy of setting a new career rebounding record.  Diana Vines (1985-89) holds the record with 1,269 boards.

The Blue Demons host Villanova on Saturday at the DePaul Athletic Center.  Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted live on the BIG EAST TV Network.  In Chicago, fans can catch the game on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  DePaul enters the Villanova game with the nation's second-longest home-floor winning streak at 31 straight victories.

Joining Smith with BIG EAST honors was Seton Hall freshman Shantel Brown of Seton Hall.  Brown was selected as Freshman of the Week after leading the Pirates to wins over West Virginia and Notre Dame last week.