Bowling Green, Ky. — One day after recording a career-high 33 points, Western Kentucky University’s Courtney Lee was selected the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week. The announcement came from the league office Monday.
It’s the third occasion this season that the Indianapolis, Ind., resident has picked up the award, marking the first time in two years that an SBC player has been recognized more than twice. Lee has now been selected the Sun Belt Player of the Week five times since the beginning of the 2006-07 campaign.
In Sunday’s 77-68 victory over Arkansas State, Lee scored 10 of the Toppers’ final 17 points after the Indians had cut an 18-point deficit to three with five minutes remaining. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound senior ended up converting 9-of-15 attempts from the field — including 5-of-8 from three-point range — while adding a team-high-tying five rebounds, three assists without a turnover and a blocked shot.
It was the guard/forward’s second outing with 30 or more points this winter, the first time a Hilltopper has accomplished the feat since Anthony Winchester posted a pair of 30-plus point efforts in 2004-05.
In an 18-point win at New Orleans earlier in the week, Lee recorded 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting — that included going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc — four rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. He scored two baskets in a minute-span after the Privateers had made it a three-point contest to help seal that victory as well.
With the effort at UNO, Lee moved past Tom Marshall (1951-54) into third place on the school’s all-time scoring list while also becoming just the seventh player in Sun Belt history to record 1,900 points in a career.
For the week, he averaged 26 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a block per contest, connecting on 65.4 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three-point range as WKU extended its winning streak to a season-high six games.
Lee enters the Hilltoppers’ game against UALR Thursday ranked in the top 15 in the SBC in six statistical categories, including the top five in scoring (second — 21.3 ppg), free-throw percentage (third — 86%) and steals (fourth — 1.90 pg). He also stands 11th with 1.90 three-pointers per outing, 12th with a 50.3 field-goal percentage and 14th with 0.81 blocks per game. Lee is 13th in the country in scoring, and he ranks in the top 100 nationally in free-throw percentage (35th) and steals (83rd) as well.