Feb. 20, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mel Greenberg
Uconn guard/forward, GMU guard honored by USBWA
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – For the season's 12th U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week and the organization's women's freshman player honor, UConn guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson is national player while George Mason guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary has been tabbed for the freshman citation after each was involved in helping their teams go unbeaten in games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 18.

The USBWA weekly honors for Division I women's players will be handed out each Tuesday this season.

As the American Athletic Conference player and Atlantic 10 freshman weekly winners, both were nominated for the awards, which were chosen by Mel Greenberg, the USBWA coordinator for women's basketball, primarily from a pair of lists of Division I conference players and freshmen players of the week.

Samuelson, a 6-3 junior from Huntington Beach, Calif., averaged 26.5 points per game in two wins while shooting 67.9 percent from the field, shooting 19-for-28 as top-ranked and unbeaten Connecticut beat then-No. 4 Louisville and Temple. She is a past USBWA national player of the week from last season and is the reigning American Athletic Conference co-player of the year and was also a 2017 USBWA All-American women’s selectee.

Cardaño-Hillary, a 5-7 guard from Madrid, Spain, averaged 19.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 3.0 steals in a pair of wins that enabled George Mason to tie the Patriots’ all-time overall triumphs in a single season at 21. She has scored in double figures in all 28 games and her 17.7 points per game average is third in scoring in the Atlantic 10.

Since the 1987-88 season, the USBWA has named a women’s National Player of the Year. For the 2012-13 season, the national and weekly player award has been named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale. At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2018 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards event in Columbus, Ohio, site of the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected a women's All-America team since the 1996-97 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

2017-18 USBWA Women's National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 3: Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (National); Satou Sabally, Oregon (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 10: Jaime Nared, Tennessee (National); Braxtin Miller, Oklahoma State (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 17: Kitija Laksa, South Florida (National); Raneem Elgedawy, Western Kentucky (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 24: Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State (National); Kianni Smith, California (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 31: Megan Gustafson, Iowa (National); Eleah Parker, Penn (Freshman)
Week ending Jan. 7: Lashann Higgs, Texas (National); Bre Cavanaugh, Fordham (Freshman)
Week ending Jan. 14: Asia Durr, Lousiville (National); Hailey Brown, Michigan (Freshman)
Week ending Jan. 21: Arike Ogunbowale, Notre Dame (National); Eleah Parker, Penn (Freshman)
Week ending Jan. 28: Kaila Charles, Maryland (National); Anna Jones, Middle Tennessee (Freshman)
Week ending Feb. 4: Brittany McPhee, Stanford (National); Ana Llanusa, Oklahoma (Freshman)
Week ending Feb. 11: Kitija Laksa, South Florida (National); Destiny Pitts, Minnesota (Freshman)
Week ending Feb. 18: Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn (National); Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, Georgia Mason (Freshman)
Week ending Feb. 25: Aubree Brown, Drexel (National); Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M (Freshman)