PHILADELPHIA - Freshman guard Keiera Ray was named the Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week on Tuesday by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Ray is the first Ivy League player - man or woman - ever selected for the award.
Ray scored 50 points over the weekend, including the first 30-point performance by an Ivy player this year, to help propel the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to its first sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth since 2004.
For the week, the Aurora, Ill., native and Bolingbrook High School product was 12-of-26 (46.2%) from the field, 6-for-10 from three and 20-of-26 (76.9%) from the charity stripe. She averaged 25.0 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game and 2.0 assists per game. In 68 minutes over the weekend, she had just five turnovers. Her career-high 31 points in a 77-72 win over Harvard – breaking a 17-game and nine-year losing streak to the Crimson – were the most by a league player this season and her 14 free throws in the game were the second most in school history. She added 19 points in a 63-40 win over Dartmouth, the most lopsised Penn win in series history.
As the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week, Ray was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. The USBWA has awarded a National Player of the Year since 1987-88, but just started selecting a Women's National Player of the Week two seasons ago and began selecting a Men's National Player of the Week in 2009-10.
Among the other winners of the award this year are All-America candidates Brittney Griner (Baylor), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), and Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), among others. The complete list of winners is below.
At the Women's NCAA Final Four in Denver last April, the organization announced going forward that the national and weekly player award has been named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale. At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2013 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA's annual awards breakfast in New Orleans, site of the 2013 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.
2012-13 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Players of the Week
• Week of Dec. 9: Maggie Lucas, Penn State (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Dec. 16: Chucky Jeffery, Colorado (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week of Dec. 23: Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference)
• Week of Dec. 30: Karisma Penn, Illinois (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Jan. 6: Kayla McBride, Notre Dame (Big East Conference)
• Week of Jan. 13: Brittney Griner, Baylor (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 20: Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut (Big East Conference)
• Week of Jan. 27: Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 3: Khaalidah Miller, Georgia (Southeastern Conference)
• Week of Feb. 10: Kelia Shelton, Louisiana Tech (Western Athletic Conference)
• Week of Feb. 17: Keiera Ray, Penn (Ivy League)