Marshall Player of the Week: McKenzie Akers

Position: Guard       Class: Sophomore       Hometown: Princeton, West Virginia

The Marshall basketball season concluded on Sunday with the women’s quarterfinals loss to Mercer in the Women’s Basketball Invitational, but Akers had two of her strongest showings of the season. Akers scored 18 points on a career-high six 3-pointers in the opening round of the Invitational, leading the Herd to an upset of number-one-seeded Northern Kentucky and the programs first postseason victory of the NCAA era. In the quarterfinals, Akers continued her hot shooting scoring 11 points, and going 4-5 from the field with three of her made field goals coming from beyond the arc. Akers averaged 14.5 PPG and a sizzling 9-12 on threes during the Invitational.

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Since coming to Marshall, Akers has served as an effective outside shooting threat due to her quick release and confidence from three. After struggling with her shooting efficiency from three as a freshman, Akers has seen substantial improvement increasing her 3-point percentage from 27.9 last season to 34.4 percent this year. Her 53 made 3-pointers and 34.4 percent clip both ranked second on the team this season. Akers offers more, however, than just her shooting, as she was a reliable and pesky defender this season showing awareness and effort. Also Akers was asked to assume more ball handling duties late in the season after point guard Norrisha Victrum was sidelined with an injury.

Akers on her work this past offseason to improve her 3-point shooting: “I worked on my footwork to speed it up and try to get shots off quicker. I worked all the way up to trying to get a quicker release, and trying to do it as quick as I would in a game.”

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