INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) For the season's second U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week and the organization's Tamika Catchings women's freshman player honor, Rider guard Stella Johnson is the national player while Middle Tennessee guard Aislynn Hayes has been tabbed for the freshman citation after Johnson set a program scoring record helping her team split two games while Hayes helped her team win two games ending the week of Sunday, November 24.
The USBWA weekly honors for Division I women's players will be handed out each Tuesday this season.
As the MAAC player and C-USA 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.
Johnson, a 5-10 senior guard from Denville, N.J., set a Rider record, scoring 41 points in the Broncs' opening win against Lipscomb as part of the MAAC/ASUN Challenge at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla., and scored a second-best ever 39 in the setback to North Florida to earn MVP honors. Across the two games she averaged 40 points, four steals, two assists and a blocked shot. She shot 21-for-48 from the field for 43 percent, 6-for-14 on three-point attempts at 42 percent, and 32-for-35 from the line for 91 percent. Winner of all three MAAC weekly awards to date, Johnson leads the country in scoring (30.8) and made foul shots at 57.
Hayes, a 5-6 guard from Murfreesboro, Tenn. Siegrist, in her first two career starts filled up the stat sheet each contest first scoring a game-high 22 points with six rebounds, four steals, and three assists against Tennessee Tech while then collecting 15 points with another four steals and three assists against Furman. Across the two games she was 6-for-12 from beyond the arc.
For the 2012-13 season, the national and weekly player award became named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale while this is the first season the national and weekly freshman award is being given in the name of former Tennessee All-American Tamika Catchings.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for both awards, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA.
The winners of the 2020 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year and Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWAs annual awards event in New Orleans, site of the 2020 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 Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.
2019-20 USBWA Women's Players of the Week
Week ending Nov. 17: Aari McDonald, Arizona (National); Maddy Siegrist, Villanova (Freshman)
· Week ending Nov. 24: Stella Johnson, Rider (National); Aislynn Hayes, Middle Tennessee (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 1: Dana Evans, Louisville (National); Aliyah Boston, South Carolina (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 8: Megan Walker, UConn (National); Kayla Padilla, Penn (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 15: Destiny Pitts, Minnesota (National); Ayoka Lee, Kansas State (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 22: Charli Collier, Texas (National); Maddy Siegrist, Villanova (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 29: Kaila Charles, Maryland (National); Aislynn Hayes, Middle Tennessee (Freshman)
· Week ending Jan. 5: Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State (National); Taylor Jones, Oregon State (Freshman)
· Week ending Jan. 12: Ja'Tavia Tapley, Arizona State (National); Shemera Williams, Virginia (Freshman)
· Week ending Jan. 19: Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (National); Amari Robinson, Clemson (Freshman)
· Week ending Jan. 26: Leaonna Odom, Duke (National); Ayoka Lee, Kansas State (Freshman)
· Week ending Feb. 2: Keishana Washington, Drexel (National); Aislynn Hayes, Middle Tennessee (Freshman)
· Week ending Feb. 9: Erica Ogwumike, Rice (National); Aliyah Boston, South Carolina (Freshman)
· Week ending Feb. 16: CJ Williams, Coastal Carolina (National); Abbey Hsu, Columbia (Freshman)
· Week ending Feb. 23: Bella Alarie, Princeton (National); Anna Makurat, UConn (Freshman)
· Week ending March 1: Rennia Davis, Tennessee (National); Sam Brunelle, Notre Dame (Freshman)