Missouri State’s Alize Johnson wins sixth Valley Newcomer award

Rick Kindhart (MSU Sports Information) ST. LOUIS – Missouri State University forward Alize Johnson (Jr., Williamsport, Pa.) has been named Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week, the league announced Monday.

This is the sixth time this season, the transfer from Frank Phillips (Texas) College has earned the award, breaking the standard for most MVC Newcomer of the Week honors ever for a Bear. Since the weekly award began in 2003-04, only one league players — seven-time winner Doug McDermott of Creighton (2010-11) has won the rookie honor more times. Johnson now ties fellow six-time winners Cleanthony Early (Wichita State 2012-13) and Marcellus Sommerville (Bradley 2003-04).

Johnson posted 23 points and snagged a career-high 21 rebounds to help MSU to a road win at Drake this week. His 21 boards against Drake broke the Knapp Center record in Des Moines and were also the most by any Missouri State player since 1980 (prior to the club’s Division I era). His effort was his second 23-20 game of the season and his 15th double-double of the campaign. For the week, he was 14-of-17 (.824) at the free throw line, averaged 20.0 points and 14.5 rebounds per game and knocked down four 3-pointers in two ball games, including a narrow one-point home loss to league-leader Illinois State.

For the year, the native of Williamsport, Pa., is averaging a team-best 14.5 points and league-best 10.7 rebounds per game with another league-best 15 double-doubles. He ranks No. 5 nationally in total rebounds (310), No. 10 in rebounds per game and No. 13 in double-doubles (15).

Johnson and the Bears wrap a two-game Valley road swing on Wednesday at Bradley (10-19, 5-11 MVC) at 7 p.m., before concluding the regular season at JQH Arena on Saturday, Feb. 25 against Wichita State at 11 a.m. in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2.

Tickets for the WSU game may be purchased at the Old Missouri Bank Box Office at JQH Arena or by phone at (417) 836-7678. Regular-priced tickets are also available anytime at MissouriStateBears.com.

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