INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) For the season's 13th 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, Rice guard Erica Ogwumike is national player while South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston for the second time this season has been chosen for the freshman citation after each helped their teams go unbeaten ending the week of Monday, Feb. 10.
As the Conference USA player and Southeastern Conference 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.
Ogwumike, a 5-9 senior guard from Cypress, Texas, helped Rice to two key wins averaging 25 points which she scored in each game · and 13 rebounds while shooting 48.6 percent from the field. In the first game, a 64-53 win over UAB, she also collected her 1,000th career rebound. In the second victory, which was over Middle Tennessee, she had a season-high 17 rebounds. She currently leads C-USA in scoring (18.0) and defensive rebounds per game (7.5). The Owls have won 11 straight games and, dating back to 2018, they have won 30 straight games in the conference. Her older sisters, Nnemkadi and Chiney, currently WNBA Los Angeles Sparks stars who played at Stanford, are both past USBWA All-Americans.
Boston, a 6-5 freshman forward from St. Thomas, USVI, averaged 15.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in wins over then-No. 25 Arkansas and a first-ever victory by the top-ranked Gamecocks over No. 4 Connecticut. Her seven blocks against the Razorbacks were one short of the program record for an SEC game. In the win over the Huskies she had 13 points and 12 rebounds six on the offensive end · while blocking two shots and grabbing three steals. Nine of the rebounds were in the first quarter when she also had two blocks and two steals as the Huskies were held to just two points. She now has 10 double-doubles and averages double-doubles when South Carolina plays ranked teams. She is second in the SEC with a 9.1 rebounding average and second in field goal percentage, shooting 61.8.
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 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. Both winners will be honored at the USBWA Awards Luncheon hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on April 13, 2020.
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)