Dec. 27, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mel Greenberg
215-815-5943
Miss. State's Vivians passes career 2,000-point mark
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VIVIANS, SMITH ARE USBWA WOMEN'S
NATIONAL, FRESHMAN PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – For the season's fourth U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week and the organization's women's freshman player honor, Mississippi State senior guard Victoria Vivians is national player while California guard Kianna Smith has been tabbed for the freshman citation after each were involved in helping their teams go unbeaten in games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 24.

The USBWA weekly honors for Division I women's players will be handed out each Tuesday this season.

As the Southeastern Conference player and Pac-12 freshman weekly winners, both were nominated for the awards, which were chosen by Mel Greenberg, the USBWA coordinator for women's basketball from a pair of lists of Division I conference players and freshmen of the week.

Vivians, a 6-1 senior guard from Carthage, Miss., who was a weekly USBWA freshman honoree in 2015, averaged 24 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and three steals in a pair of wins by Mississippi State over host UNLV and Syracuse in a tournament in Las Vegas. During the event she became the third player in program history to pass 2,000 career points.

Smith, a 6-0 guard from Moreno Valley, Calif., in Cal's lone game, which was on the road at Kentucky, scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds shooting 5-for-10 from the field and dealing eight assists in the 62-52 win over the Wildcats.

This is the first time both USBWA women’s weekly honorees are foreign-born since the freshman award was added in the 2014-15 season.

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 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 2018 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards event in Columbus, Ohio, site of the 2018 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 Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

2017-18 USBWA Women's National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 3: Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (National); Satou Sabally, Oregon (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 10: Jaime Nared, Tennessee (National); Braxtin Miller, Oklahoma State (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 17: Kitija Laksa, South Florida (National); Raneem Elgedawy, Western Kentucky (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 24: Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State (National); Kianni Smith, California (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 31: Megan Gustafson, Iowa (National); Eleah Parker, Penn (Freshman)
Week ending Jan. 7: Lashann Higgs, Texas (National); Bre Cavanaugh, Fordham (Freshman)