Best ever for Samford

Best ever for Samford

February 16th, 2011 by John Frierson in Sports - College

Emily London looked human Monday night.

The Samford senior guard hit five of her 10 field-goal attempts in the Bulldogs' 58-47 Southern Conference women's basketball win over Davidson. Most stunning of all, London was only 7-for-10 from the free-throw line.

Before that, London was leading the nation from the line, having hit 76 of 78 free throws this season.

"I practice hard on my free throws and I take pride in shooting free throws," she said last week. "I know our whole team does, and that's what I like to work on most."

Earlier this month, the 5-foot-7 London, from Lexington, Ky., became Samford's all-time leading scorer. The preseason pick for Southern Conference player of the year has 1,648 career points.

"It did feel really good, actually," she said of setting the record. "I didn't know it until I walked out of the locker room after the game to get on the bus and Coach [Mike] Morris slapped my hand and said congratulations. It was definitely a shock; I didn't even see it coming."

London's name litters Samford's top-10 lists. Along with scoring, she's first in 3-pointers made (260) and free throws made (348), and she's in the top six in every major category except blocked shots.

"As skilled as she is, particularly shooting the ball, she has a grit to her that sometimes you don't see in the recruiting -- and that has definitely shown up in practice, in conditioning and in her play," Morris said. "From a mental toughness standpoint, she's as tough as any player we've ever had [in his 18 years at Samford]."

Samford (20-7, 13-5 SoCon), which swept the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga this season, is second in the standings behind Appalachian State.

Throughout her Samford career, London always has been an accurate shooter -- from the foul line, from 2-point territory and from 3-point range. Morris said her career has exceeded his expectations.

"I knew she was a very good player and knew she had the ability to score, but I didn't think she'd necessarily be the all-time leading scorer in the history of our program," he said.

This season London is averaging 15.7 points per game, sixth in the league. She's third in the league in field-goal percentage at .515, and the two players ahead of her -- Appalachian State's Ashlen Dewart and UTC's Whitney Hood -- are post players.

London has hit 46.6 percent (68 of 146) of her 3-pointers this season, which would be eye-catching on any team except Samford. That rate is third-best in the league and on her team behind Paige Anderson (49.4 percent) and Savannah Hill (49.2 percent).

"We try to be unselfish and get the best quality shot that we can get each time down the court," London said, "and I think that's why we're in the top [three] because of the quality shots that we take."