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Grand Canyon’s DeWayne Russell wins WAC Player of the Week for third time

Grand Canyon guard DeWayne Russell (0) drives on Arizona center Chance Comanche during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

A lot has been asked of Grand Canyon Antelopes redshirt senior point guard DeWayne Russell this season, and he has answered the call.

This is reinforced by the fact that Russell won his third Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week of the season Monday.

Russell came off the bench Thursday against the Texas-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros but still played 39 minutes and scored 14 points with eight assists, five rebounds and four steals in a convincing 76-57 victory.

He played 38 minutes in GCU’s 83-71 come-from-behind win Saturday over the New Mexico State Aggies, finishing with 31 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. It was Russell’s fourth 30 point game of his career. The Lopes were trailing 65-57 with 8:33 left before going on a 19-0 run to pull away from the Aggies.

Despite receiving the award, the 5-foot-11 Russell has been in a bit of a shooting slump recently, connecting on only 33.3 percent of his shots from the field over the past four games. He is still averaging 20.5 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 8.8 free throw attempts per game over that stretch, however.

Russell has taken a big step forward in his third season since transferring from Northern Arizona and is currently leading the WAC with 22.5 points per game after averaging only 9.8 points per game last season. He also is tops in the conference with 5.3 assists and 38.5 minutes per game.

Grand Canyon is now 17-9 overall and 6-3 in the WAC, trailing the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (17-7, 8-1) and the Aggies (22-4, 8-2) in both categories.


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