Ameryst Alston is holding court in the women’s basketball program and she’s only in her second year.
Coming in at 5 feet 9 inches, the sophomore guard has been on fire this season and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Through 19 games this season, the Canton McKinley High School grad is averaging 16.9 points per game, which leads the team, and is also fifth in the Big Ten. She is the only Buckeye to average double-digits in points so far this season.
Despite only being a sophomore, coach Kevin McGuff said he has plenty of confidence in his starting point guard.
“We are at our best when she is playing very aggressively,” McGuff said. “She has made great strides since the first day we were here.”
Alston earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors after tying a career-high 29 points in her performance against previously unbeaten and then-No. 22 Indiana.
The news came as a surprise to Alston, who found out via social media. But how she got the news didn’t diminish its impact.
“I actually didn’t even know,” Alston said. “I got on Instagram and got on Twitter and that’s how I found out and it always means a lot to me.”
Alston is coming off a season where she was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. She was also fourth on the team in scoring with 6.5 points per game and tied for second with 30.3 minutes per contest.
She also set a school record with 55 minutes played during an 82-75 triple overtime loss at Purdue Jan. 14, 2013.
Indiana coach Curt Miller noted Alston’s success in one-on-one, a skill Alston said she sees as her strong point.
“The one-on-one ability by Ameryst … was the big difference in the game tonight,” Miller said after the Buckeyes beat Indiana 70-51. “They created havoc with their penetration.”
Alston said she has confidence in one-on-one situations.
“I really like one-on-one,” Alston said. “I play with my brother one-on-one all the time and that’s my thing. I am pretty confident.”
Along with leading the team in scoring Alston is second on the team in assists per game (2.5) and sixth in rebounds (3.5).
With her increased presence on the court, Alston is being forced to step into the role of a leader, which is something she has been working toward improving.
“I am still learning to be a leader,” Alston said. “I am working on it. It’s me trying to get outside myself because I am a quiet person and being a point guard, you have to talk.”
While Alston might be quiet, that doesn’t stop her teammates from taking notice of her contributions.
Junior guard Raven Ferguson noted that despite the team’s inconsistency throughout the season, Alston has remained consistent.
“A lot of players have been up and down,” Ferguson said. “She’s one of the players who has been very consistent scoring wise and playing hard. We kind of feed off of her.”
Alston looks to continue her successful play when the Buckeyes hit the road for State College, Pa., to take on Penn State Thursday at 7 p.m.