CHARLOTTE – Gardner-Webb forward D.J. Laster was named Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week on Monday, following a dominant effort over three games.
Laster (Pensacola, Fla. / Pensacola Catholic) is in his first season as a full-time starter after playing in a reserve role for his first two seasons on campus behind All-Big South forward Tyrell Nelson.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound junior was sensational last week, averaging a double-double over three games. He poured in 20.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, recording the first two double-doubles of his career in the process. Laster shot an efficient 58.7 percent from the floor (27-of-46), made 40.0 percent of his three-point chances (2-of-5) and played 28.7 minutes per game.
Against No. 7 Florida Monday night, Laster held his own against a long and athletic front court, scoring a team-high 19 points and securing 10 rebounds. He knocked down 8-of-15 shots in the nationally-televised game.
Laster nearly helped Gardner-Webb pull out a win at American Athletic Conference foe UCF on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 21 points to go with nine rebounds (five offensive). His three-pointer with 3:09 remaining in the game sparked a 13-3 run that allowed GWU to pull within a single point with less than a minute remaining.
The versatile forward capped his week with his most efficient effort, making 9-of-9 shots and scoring 20 points – along with 12 rebounds – in a 116-point team offensive effort vs. Warren Wilson. Laster did much of his damage in a decisive first half, scoring 16 points by the intermission.
Overall, Laster leads Gardner-Webb and ranks fifth in the Big South in scoring this season at 17.5 points per game. He leads the league with 9.8 rebounds per game and ranks second in field goal percentage (54.2 percent).
Gardner-Webb is back in action on Tuesday afternoon, hosting Brevard (N.C.) College at 4:30 pm in Paul Porter Arena (Big South Network).