USF women’s basketball junior guard Kitija Laksa was named one of five finalists for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon. The award annually recognizes the top shooting guard in the country.
The Latvian native leads the American Athletic Conference with 622 points this season and is closing in on former Bull Courtney Williams’ junior class record of 710 points, with postseason games still to play.
Laksa, one of only a few players in Division 1 to hit over 100-three point baskets this season, is just 22 shy of the NCAA single season record of 129 threes. She set an NCAA record earlier this year draining 11 consecutive shots from behind the arc.
The Bulls junior guard is the only player in the NCAA this season to score 40-plus points in two games and has five 30-point performances. Perhaps even more impressive, Laksa leads all divisions, men or women, with a 96% free throw percentage.
Other finalists for the award include Katie Lou Samuelson (UConn), Asia Durr (Louisville), Victoria Vivians (Mississippi State) and Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame). The winner will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee, and will be announced during the national semifinal game on March 30.
Laksa and USF, a No. 2 seed, will face the winner of ECU and SMU in the American Athletic Conference Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Connecticut.