SEWANEE, Tenn. / ST. LOUIS - All-Tournament MVP Luke Smith has had a roller coaster of emotion over the last few days. Just two days after he and his team brought a conference championship home for the first time in 22 years, he was selected to the D3hoops.Com Team of the Week and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association named him the National Player of the Week for Division III.
The First Team All-SAA selection recorded 20+ points in each game of the tournament.
In the 70-63 win over Berry in the semifinals, the Knoxville, Tenn. native went off, setting a career-high in points with 40 on 10-of-14 shooting, 8-of-11 from downtown, and 12-of-14 from the charity stripe. The 40 points in a game is the second-highest in school history, behind Eric Ochel's 55 points in 1995, and it is the second-most in a conference tournament game.
In the finale on Sunday, Smith drained 6-of-7 from long distance to finish the contest with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
Trailing 57-50 with 2:30 to go, the Tigers made four straight three-pointers to secure the win and defeat the SAA Regular Season Champions and host Centre, 62-59.
The sophomore scored the first two treys of the rally, but his ball handling lifted his team to victory. He recorded not only the game-tying assist on Hunter Buescher's triple with 1:09 remaining, but he was also credited with the game-winning assist on Michael Barry's 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to go to give Sewanee its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1998.
On the weekend, he scored an even 90 points in three games on 28-of-42 shooting from the field (66.7 percent). From beyond the arc, the sophomore went 18-of-24 (75 percent) from downtown. He averaged 39 minutes in three games.
The All-SAA First Team selection leads the SAA in points per game (20.4), three-point field goal percentage (44.4) and free throw percentage (89.7).
Thanks to the work by Smith, Sewanee finished the Championship 13-of-24 from downtown, and the team shot 38-of-72 (52.7 percent) on the weekend. The Tigers have shot 50 percent or better from long distance in their last four games.
Sewanee will begin the NCAA Tournament Friday night at Guilford in the first round. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT.