Pointer Named on Nancy Lieberman Award Watchlist

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Pointer Named on Nancy Lieberman Award Watchlist

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – LSU’s Khayla Pointer was named on the Nancy Lieberman Award Watchlist Monday by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as one of the Top-10 point guards across the country in women’s basketball.

Pointer has played herself into contention for the award after not being mentioned on the preseason watchlist. Now in its 23rd year, the award recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. To be considered for this prestigious award, candidates exhibit the floor leadership, playmaking and ball-handling skills of Class of 1996 Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman.

Fans are encouraged to participate in fan voting once the watchlist is released for each position, which will help determine the five finalists that will be announced later in February. In March those finalists will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected.

In her final season at LSU, Pointer is putting together the best season of her career leading the Tigers. She is on pace to set new career marks in points per game, assists per game and rebounds per game. With three more wins, LSU could also win more games than any other season of her career. Pointer recently became the first player in program history to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in her career. She currently ranks No. 3 in career assists and No. 7 in career points.

Teaming up with first-year LSU Head Coach Kim Mulkey, Pointer has led LSU to new heights. With seven games remaining in the regular season, LSU will have the opportunity to earn one of the Top-16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament which would allow the Tigers to host first and second rounds games in the PMAC.

After being a preseason All-SEC selection, Pointer opened her season by becoming the third player in program history to record a triple-double in the season opener against Nicholls. She had a double-double the second game of this season and has five total double-doubles this year.

In LSU’s first game against a ranked team, Pointer had 20 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists against No. 14 Iowa State to help the Tigers win their first ranked game which vaulted LSU into the AP Top-25. LSU has now been in the AP Top-10 for 10 straight weeks.

In the SEC opener, the Marietta, Georgia native Pointer led LSU to a win at Georgia when she hit two threes late in the fourth quarter to secure the victory and finish with 21 points. She hit a layup with 5.7 seconds left in overtime against Missouri to lift the Tigers to victory. After scoring 9 points in the first three quarters against Kentucky, Pointer scored 19 in the fourth quarter to help LSU overcome a five-point deficit and win by nine over the Wildcats.

Pointer is averaging 19.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game, impacting each game in a variety of ways and leading LSU to its best start since the 2006-07 season. She is No. 2 in the SEC in scoring, No. 2 in assists, No. 10 in field goal percentage, No. 12 in steals and No. 14 in rebounding,

It is rare for Pointer to go to the bench, and she ranks No. 1 in the SEC and No. 2 in the nation averaging 36 minutes per game. She has played all 40 minutes in 7 games, and she also never saw the bench in LSU’s overtime win over Missouri.

The winner of the 2022 Nancy Lieberman Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.

2022 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award Candidates*

Jordan Lewis, Baylor University

Nia Clouden, Michigan State University

Diamond Johnson, North Carolina State University

Veronica Burton, Northwestern University

Khayla Pointer, Louisiana State University

Caitlin Clark, University of Iowa

Hailey Van Lith, University of Louisville

Ashley Owusu, University of Maryland

Olivia Miles, University of Notre Dame

Destanni Henderson, University South Carolina

*Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2021-22 season

Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include Paige Bueckers, UConn (2021), Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (2018-20), Kelsey Plum, Washington (2017), Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut (2015-16), Odyssey Sims, Baylor (2014), Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame (2012-13), Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga (2011), Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State (2010), Renee Montgomery, Connecticut (2009), Kristi Toliver, Maryland (2008), Lindsey Harding, Duke (2007), Ivory Latta, North Carolina (2006), Temeka Johnson, LSU (2005), Diana Taurasi, Connecticut (2003-04), and Sue Bird, Connecticut (2000-02).