Arizona's Pellington, Florida State's Latson are USBWA women's national players of the week

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – For the season’s eleventh weekly women’s awards from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, for games ending Sunday, Feb. 19, Arizona guard Shaina Pellington is Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week, Florida State guard Ta’Niya Latson is the Tamika Catchings freshman recipient, and Little Rock is the National Team of the Week.

The awards, organized under Mel Greenberg, the USBWA Vice President for women’s basketball, are drawn from the weekly conference citations as well as at-large additions.

Each week awards go to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Women’s national player, the organization’s Tamika Catchings freshman player, and the USBWA’s women’s team of the week.

Pellington, a 5-8 fifth-year guard from Pickering, Ontario, Canada, upended two ranked teams in the Pac-12 for the then-No. 18 Wildcats, averaging 27 points, shooting 21-for-31 for 67.7 percent. Against then-No. 4 Utah, which was under its best Associated Press women’s poll ranking, she made her first 11 shots, 10 in the first half, and finished with a career-high 35 points, shooting 13-for-18 with eight rebounds and five steals. Two nights later against then-No. 21 Colorado, she scored 19 points, 8-for-13 from the field with five assists. She also earned the Pac-12 and ESPN players of the week honors on Monday.

Latson, a 5-8 freshman guard from Miami, Fla., who is receiving her third USBWA freshman honor, averaged 25 points, 4.5 rebounds, and three assists in two wins for the then-No. 19 Seminoles. She scored 19 in the win over Syracuse and then broke a nine-game slump of not reaching 20 points, by pounding Georgia Tech for 31 points, shooting 10-for-16, 9-for-10 from the line. She is averaging 21.8 points per game and has now recorded a school-record seven 30-point games, two against the Yellow Jackets, as she picked up another ACC freshman of the week award Monday.

Coached by Joe Foley, among the top winningest active women’s mentors with 851 victories, Little Rock has made a smashing debut in the Ohio Valley Conference, coming over from the Sun Belt. The Trojans have won ten straight and 15 of 16 resulting in last weekend by beating Eastern Illinois becoming the first OVC newcomer to take the regular season title in its first year of membership.

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 the national and weekly freshman award is being given in the name of former Tennessee all-American Tamika Catchings, which was applied at the start of the 2019-20 season.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for both individual awards, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA.

The winners of the 2023 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year and Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards event on site at the 2023 NCAA Women's Final Four in Dallas.

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.