By: Rick Kindhart
ST. LOUIS – Missouri State standout Gaige Prim has been named Missouri Valley Conference co-Player of the Week, the league announced Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 23). It is the second time this season Prim has been honored with the MVC’s top weekly award.
He and Drake’s Joseph Yesufu share this week’s MVC Player of the Week laurels, while Illinois State’s Emon Washington picked up MVC Newcomer of the Week distinction.
Prim had a game for the ages in the Bears only contest of the week, scoring a career-high 29 points and snagging a career-high 21 rebounds against Southern Illinois on Feb. 17 to lift MSU to its first win at Banterra Center since 2014. Prim’s 20-20 game was the first in the Missouri Valley since former Bear Alize Johnson had 24 points and 20 rebounds against UNI on Jan. 4, 2018.
He was 13-for-19 from the field against the Salukis and 3-for-4 at the free throw line, but was equally impressive in other phases of the game, dishing out a game-high six assists to go with three blocked shots. He also snagged a steal for the 15th consecutive game.
Prim, a senior from Aurora, Colorado, is one of just eight players in Division I basketball this season with a 20-20 game, and only one of three players in the past 10 seasons to have a 29-point, 21-rebound, six-assist night. None of the others to achieve this impressive stat line did it on the road, had three blocks or shot 68.4 percent from the field. On the season, Prim has seven double-doubles and eight 20-point games.
Along with teammate Isiaih Mosley’s three MVC Player of the Week awards this season, Missouri State has earned this honor a record five times during the 2020-21 campaign.
The Bears (15-5, 11-5 MVC) close out the regular season Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (6 p.m.) at Evansville before opening play in the State Farm MVC Tournament in St. Louis on Friday, March 5.