Silas nabs fifth MAC West Player of the Week

Xavier Silas
Xavier Silas

Northern Illinois senior guard Xavier Silas was named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week for his performances last week against Akron and Buffalo.

Silas averaged 29.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in the two games.

This is the fifth time Silas has earned MAC West Player of the Week honors this season, he was also honored on Nov. 22, Nov. 29, Dec. 19 and Jan. 17. Silas and Kent State’s Justin Greene are the only two players in the MAC to have been named Player of the Week five times this season.

On Wednesday against Akron, Silas netted 39 points, one shy of his career-high, as the Huskies defeated the Zips, 83-74. Silas went 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from the floor in the contest, including 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from beyond the three-point line, and also made 16-of-20 free throws as the Huskies won their third in the last four against Akron. Silas also grabbed a season-best eight rebounds and had a pair of steals in the win.

Three days later at Buffalo, Silas scored a team-high 20 points as the Huskies fell, 63-52, to the Bulls. The performance was Silas’ 14th 20-plus point game of the season, and the 27th of his collegiate career. Silas went 12-of-13 from the free-throw line against Buffalo and also grabbed five rebounds in the game.

For the week, Silas shot 40.6 percent from the field, including 41.7 percent from three-point range, and also shot 84.8 percent from the charity stripe.

Silas is one of just two players in the country, along with Brigham Young’s Jimmer Fredette, to have multiple games of 39-or-more points scored. Earlier this season on Dec. 14, Silas scored a career-high, and an NIU Convocation Center record, 40 points in a victory over UIC.

On the season, Silas is averaging 24.2 points per game, tied for second in the nation with Connecticut’s Kemba Walker. He is shooting 86.3 percent from the free-throw line, second-best in the MAC, and 43.2 percent from behind the three-point line, fourth in the conference. Silas also ranks in the top-20 in the league in rebounding during conference play, pulling down 5.4 boards per contest.

Silas and the Huskies return home to the NIU Convocation Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, when they host the Bowling Green Falcons.

For more information on NIU men’s basketball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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