Rutgers Women’s Basketball

Kaylene Smikle of Rutgers women's basketball dominated with 23 points in a 71-52 win over Cornell. Photo: Rutgers Athletics.

Rutgers Women’s Basketball star Freshman Kaylene Smikle was chosen as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the third time this season and the second time this month. The conference made the announcement on Monday afternoon.

Smikle, a native of Farmingdale, New York is the first freshman in program history to earn the honor three times in the same season and the first Scarlet Knight to earn any Big Ten weekly award three times since 2014-15 when Betniijah Laney accomplished the feat, according to Rutgers Athletics.

The honor is just the fourth Freshman of the Week for RU all-time, after Diamond Johnson picked up the first on Dec. 21, 2020.

Smikle led Rutgers in both contests this week, averaging 19.5 points, two rebounds, two assist and three steals against No. 14/16 Michigan (Jan. 19) and Michigan State (Jan. 22). With 27 points against the Spartans, Smikle has now reached 20+ points 10 times this season, the second most by any D1 freshman.  

“She is the only Scarlet Knight to pass the 20-point milestone, hitting the mark in the last five of the last six outings. The contest also marked her 17th double-digit performance of the season and the 13th time she has led RU in scoring.  

Smikle leads the team with 17.3 points per game including an average 21.1 points in Big Ten play.”