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Smith and Cruz selected as January Bison of the Month presented by GIS

Smith and Cruz selected as January Bison of the Month presented by GIS

WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University Athletics Department has announced the January Bison of the Month recipients presented by Gallaudet Interpreting Services (GIS). Freshman guard Jakkisha Smith (Dallas, Texas) of the women's basketball team and junior forward and co-captain Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) of the men's basketball team were selected for their standout performances during the month of January.

Smith has been an offensive leader for the Bison throughout the month of January as she scored 180 points while averaging 18.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 10 games. Smith scored a monthly high 24 points in back-to-back games on Jan. 22 (vs. SUNY Cobleskill) and on Jan. 24 (vs. Wilson College). Throughout the month of January, she collected 55 rebounds, 39 steals and dished out 36 assists. This is Smith's second consecutive Bison of the Month award.

"Jakkisha has done a great job with us this season," said Gallaudet women's basketball coach Stephanie Stevens. "We know that she is a great scorer and passer, but we are currently working on her becoming one of the top defenders in our conference. Jakkisha is always doing the best she can on-and-off the court. We are very excited to watch her develop!"

The men's basketball team went  9-1 overall and 9-1 in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) play. Cruz, who averaged 33 minutes per game, was a consistent offensive threat throughout the month of January. In each game, Cruz managed to reach double-digits while averaging 14.3 points per game. In total, he brought down 89 rebounds, dished out 35 assists and racked up 17 steals. On Jan. 21, when the Bison defeated SUNY Poly, Cruz was just one point shy of his season-high as he netted a game-high 22 points. Although Gallaudet converted on only 62 percent of its free throws in the month of January, Cruz shot the second highest on the team at 73 percent. Cruz's consistency and leadership is one of the main reasons why the Bison had such great success in January.

"Andy is a tremendous student-athlete," said Gallaudet men's basketball coach Kevin Kovacs. "When it comes to Andy, you pretty much know he's going to show up. Andy is a coach's dream as a student and an athlete. He is very consistent and plays so hard. He does so many things we ask him to do for us on the court and he delivers, even on Sundays. On top of that, he has always done the things we ask and expect him to do off the court while always remaining humble and respectful which will go a long way for him in life. Andy is so deserving of this recognition and award." 

These are the fifth Bison of the Month awards for the 2016-17 athletic season. Each month Gallaudet University Athletics Department will recognize two standout student-athletes (one male, one female) from their respective sports.

2016-17 Gallaudet Bison of the Month presented  by GIS

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Did you know Gallaudet Interpreting Services provides Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)?
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