INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) For the season's 15th 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, Princeton forward Bella Alarie is national player while Connecticut guard Anna Makurat has been chosen for the freshman citation after each helped their teams go unbeaten for the week of Sunday, Feb. 23.
As the Ivy League player and American Athletic 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.
Alarie, a 6-4 senior forward from Bethesda, Md., and a past USBWA recipient, averaged 23.0 points per game, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals as the No. 23 Tigers executed weekend and season sweeps of Harvard and Dartmouth at home in Jadwin Gym. In the victories the two-time reigning Ivy League player of the year shot 19-for-34 from the field (55.9 percent) and 2-for-5 from beyond the arc. In the win over Dartmouth, she had 28 points and 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double, while shooting 11-for-21 from the field. Against Harvard, she scored 18 points and had seven rebounds. Princeton is currently 21-1 losing only by two points in overtime at Iowa · and is on a 17-game win streak.
Makurat, a 6-1 freshman guard from Sierakowice, Poland, averaged 19.0 points per game and 8.0 rebounds in a pair of conference wins over UCF and Tulane as the No. 6 Huskies claimed their seventh regular-season American Athletic Conference title, being the only member to win each season since the league formed. She scored 18 points and grabbed six steals in the win over Tulane, while she scored all 17 points in the second half against UCF, shooting 75 percent from the floor. In the pair of games, she shot 65 percent, including 50 percent from beyond the arc.
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)