Cougars’ Smith fights off flu, leads team to victory

Friday, February 17, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:05 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

After Thursday’s game, senior Terrance Smith experienced something for the first time: two fans asked him to pose with them for a photograph. And if they had any basketball savvy, they also would have pictures of his jump shot.

In his last regular season home game, Smith scored 21 points to help the Cougars (21-7, 7-3 American Midwest Conference) to a 93-73 victory over Williams Baptist (5-21, 0-9) at the Arena of Southwell Complex. Marcus Bradford was Columbia College’s leading scorer with 23 points.

But for Smith, his five 3-pointers made it a typical night.

Over the course of his two seasons in Columbia, Smith has scored 1,037 points, many of them on shots that most players wouldn’t consider taking. But Smith is quick to point out that those shots don’t go in by chance.

“If you come in here after practice you’ll see me, (Lee) Sattler and Marcus Bradford shooting around,” Smith said. “You’ll see us working hard in practice.”

That hard work can pay off especially on nights like Thursday. Plagued by flu-like symptoms since Tuesday, Smith said he “felt like he was a step behind” at times in practice this week and wasn’t even sure he would play. During breaks of play on Thursday, Smith appeared tired and ill and could be seen coughing.

After the game, his nose was running as he continued to struggle with a persistent cough. But all the symptoms of illness seemed to disappear during the game. In addition to his 21 points, which came on 8-of-17 shooting, Smith also played solid perimeter defense and had two steals.

“Terrance is a machine,” coach Bob Burchard said. “He’s just a very consistent basketball player.”

That consistency was rewarded Saturday when Smith became the 18th player in Columbia College history to score 1,000 points. And even though Smith is primarily known as a scorer, he likes to think of himself as more than a shooter.

“I’d like to be considered an all-around player,” Smith said. “But when the going gets tough, you gotta do what you do best.”

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