Each week, DartmouthSports.com will spotlight two outstanding student-athletes - one male, one female - as Dartmouth's Athletes of the Week. Student-athletes may be chosen based upon their efforts both on and off the field of competition.
A tale of two classes represent the recent Dartmouth Athlete of the Week winners. Junior Brittney Smith had a big weekend on both ends of the court for the Big Green while rookie Robbie Maycock was one of only three on his team to record a victory against Harvard.
Dartmouth Female Athlete of the Week:
Brittney Smith (Fort Worth, Texas) Women's Basketball, Forward, Junior
Junior forward Brittney Smith (Fort Worth, Texas) had a big weekend on both ends of the court for Dartmouth in a 77-72 win at Stony Brook and a hard-fought loss at #25 Syracuse, 56-42. Smith averaged nearly a double-double with 15 points and 9.5 rebounds per game and filled the statsheet in both contests. Smith played a stellar second half at Stony Brook bolstering her team in its first game back from a 12-day exam layoff. She led the Big Green in every statistical category and was just shy of a double-double with 17 points, nine rebounds, including four offensive, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Smith also came up big against undefeated (9-0) #25 Syracuse, picking up a double-double on 13 points and 10 rebounds in a full 40 minutes. Defensively, she helped hold the Orange to 23 points below their season average (78.9) and had four steals and a block as part of 26 Syracuse turnovers. She shot 50 percent from the floor on the weekend and improved her free throw shooting to 80 percent at Syracuse on Sunday. On the season, Smith leads Dartmouth in points, rebounds, steals, blocks and is second in assists.
You had a couple of big second half performances this weekend, to what do you attribute your success later in the game?There was no particular reason. The Stony Brook game was really close in the second half so at the end I tried to force the action more to keep us [ahead] in the game. Then, on Sunday, Syracuse was in a 2-3 zone the entire game and it took me a while to get used to it and find the gaps, but we adjusted better to it in the second half, which allowed me to get some more shots.
Even though there weren't many fans, what was it like to play in a building as unique as the Carrier Dome? Can you talk about the team's tremendous defensive effort against a top-25 team?
It's always really cool to play in the big arenas like the Carrier Dome because we don't get to very often, but during the game I felt as if I were playing in any other gym. I credit our defensive effort to the last minute zone defense we implemented just hours before the game. Syracuse had trouble with it and it caused a lot of turnovers.
You've been playing a very challenging schedule, what is the mindset of the team facing the caliber of team's you have played?
We want to first compete and know that we are able to beat these teams. We know that playing a very challenging schedule allows us to build the mental toughness that we need to win games and push through to the Ivy championship so we all welcome the challenge.
We got a win after the 12-day final exam break and then played Syracuse fairly close, do you see the team at a turning point in the season? I believe so. It seems that every year we start off slow then around this time the offense and the team comes together and we start playing as a team and winning games.
The team is headed to California this week for its annual long pre-holiday trip. Can you talk a bit about the experiences of getting to travel and the times when school is out of session?
It is great to be able to travel to places like California during the break because it is nice to get away from the cold for a couple days. Also, there's no one on campus so being able to travel is great because instead of being in our dorms all day we will be able to do fun things together like sightseeing.
Dartmouth Male Athlete of the Week:
Robbie Maycock (Devonshire, Bermuda) Men's Squash, Freshman
Freshman Robbie Maycock earned one of three wins against fifth-ranked Harvard on Dec. 2. Maycock helped his eighth-ranked Big Green pick up three wins in the match as he defeated Zeke Scherl at the No. 3 spot, a position he's played most of the season. Maycock was victorious, 11-7,10-12,11-5,11-9. He began the game by taking the first set rather easily but Scherl battled back and had Maycock at game-point several times before closing the door. Dartmouth's rookie was able to pull it together and win the next two, taking his third match of the season. Currently Maycock is on a training trip with his team to California before heading home for the holiday break. He looks to help his 3-1 squad improve in the Ivy League with a match against Yale on Jan. 9 in New Haven.
How have you enjoyed Dartmouth and playing squash here so far?
I am having the time of my life. Every aspect of the squash team and the college in general has been more than I expected.
What's it like as a freshman to be playing up so high in the order and has that been a little added pressure?
The whole team has been working really hard this year and it;s an honor to be playing ahead of a lot of these guys. Being an overseas player, I feel I?ve avoided a lot of the pressure that the American players inherit. This pressure, not only on myself but also on the team, seems to be
building after every win. Obviously this is a natural process and I am sure the team has the heart and talent to meet this growing pressure.
Your game against Harvard was very exciting. How was it for you and did that make you excited to play the rest of the Ivy schools this season?
Definitely. I really enjoyed my match. The support of the crowd and the rest of the team played a major part in edging me over the finish line. I must say, there were a couple nervous moments - especially at the end of the fourth but I am ecstatic to have come through with a win. I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.
What made you chose Dartmouth and what do you think of the snow so far?
The reputation of Dartmouth sold the college to my parents but it was the words of current and past students that drew me in. I was fond of the snow until it delayed my journey home by two days.