STARKVILLE, Miss. - On the heels of his season-high, 22-point performance in Saturday's 87-76 home win over Auburn, Mississippi State rookie standout Barry Stewart has earned his second straight SEC Freshman of the Week honor. The announcement was made Monday by the league office headquartered in Birmingham.
Having also collected the conference's weekly accolade a week ago for his collective efforts in games against Mississippi and Kentucky, Stewart becomes the first player since LSU's Tyrus Thomas a year ago to earn the league's weekly freshman award during consecutive weeks. Stewart also joins Arkansas' Patrick Beverley and Brandis Raley-Ross of South Carolina as two-time SEC Freshman of the Week recipients this season.
The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Stewart matched his season high with 22 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting and a perfect 10-of-10 from the line to help lead coach Rick Stansbury's Bulldogs to Saturday's 11-point home win over Auburn in their only game action of the week. The reigning Tennessee Class AAA Mr. Basketball from Shelbyville (Tenn.) Central High School drilled three timely 3-pointers during a key two-minute stretch in the second half against the Tigers to help bring MState back from a six-point halftime deficit. Stewart had previously tallied 22 points on 5-of-11 accuracy from beyond the arc in MSU's 70-52 road win over the Miami Hurricanes in December.
For the season, Stewart is averaging 12.1 points per game to rank second on the Bulldog team behind Jamont Gordon, as well as rating as the SEC's No. 2 freshman scorer behind Beverley. Stewart stands third among the league's leading free-throw shooters (81.2%) for all games, in addition to ranking sixth in made 3-pointers per game (2.35 treys/gm) and eighth in three-point percentage (42.1%). Having made at least one 3-pointer in all but one game this season (13 games with 2+ treys), Stewart has reached double figures in scoring 12 times while coming off the bench in all 17 games on the year.
MSU players have now earned three SEC Freshman of the Week honors this season with Stewart's back-to-back recognition and Ben Hansbrough's selection earlier this season (Dec. 4). Now-sophomore Jamont Gordon individually garnered an SEC-most four weekly league rookie mentions a year ago.
The 11-6 Bulldogs continue their three-game homestand this week by entertaining top-ranked and defending national champion Florida Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT. MSU then welcomes two-time reigning NIT champion South Carolina Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.