ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association
has named three standouts as its women's individual award winners this season.

Duke senior Alana Beard (Shreveport, La.) was the named the USBWA
National Player of the Year. Houston coach Joe Curl is the National
Coach of the Year and Texas forward Tiffany Jackson (Duncanville,
Texas) is the National Freshman of the Year.

Beard led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring and finished the season
with 19.2 points per game to go with 5.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.4 steals.
Beard also connected on exactly 50 percent of her field goal attempts this
year. The 30-4 Blue Devils, ranked No. 1 in the final regular-season Associated
Press Top 25, came within one game of making their third straight Final
Four appearance, losing to Minnesota in the regional finals.

In his sixth season at Houston, Joe Curl led the Cougars to a school-record
28 wins and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UH won the Conference
USA regular-season and tournament titles and had won 13 straight games before
losing to UCSB. In their first NCAA appearance in 12 seasons, the Coogs
defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay for their first-ever NCAA Tournament win. Just
five years ago, in Curl's first season at UH, the Cougars were 5-22.

At 6-3, Tiffany Jackson led Texas in scoring with 13.0 points per game
to go along with 7.5 rebounds. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year led Texas
to a 30-5 record and the third round of the NCAA Tournament before losing
to LSU, which has advanced to the Final Four out of the West Regional.

The United States Basketball Writers Association, which will release
its 2003-04 Women's All-America Team later this week, was formed in 1956
at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. The USBWA has
awarded a women's player of the year since 1988 and a coach of the year
since 1990. The organization's freshman of the year award was initiated
last season (2003).