LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball junior guard A’dia Mathies has been selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as its Women’s National Player of the Week after her performance in Kentucky’s 72-65 victory over No. 6/5 Duke on Thursday.
Mathies, who was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday and is a member of the Naismith preseason watch list, led Kentucky to a win over Duke at Rupp Arena, marking the first time the Wildcats (10-0) had ever won back-to-back games against top-10 ranked opponents. Kentucky defeated intrastate rival No. 10 Louisville 74-54 on Dec. 4.
The Louisville, Ky., native paced the Wildcats with a season-high 23 points, including a career-high tying four 3-pointers, four rebounds and four steals against the Blue Devils.
Mathies’ four steals against Duke give her 201 for her career, tying her with UK great Valerie Still at No. 9 on the UK all-time steals list. Mathies is just the 10th player in UK history to amass 200 or more steals during her UK career.
Mathies leads Kentucky in scoring with 16.8 points per game, and in steals with 3.7 per game. Mathies is second on the team in rebounding at 5.7 boards per game. In the conference, Mathies ranks third in scoring and is first in steals. Mathies also ranks seventh nationally in steals per game.
As the SEC Player of the Week, Mathies 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.
This is the first season that the USBWA has selected a women's national player of the week. The weekly national player of the week is added to the award's watch list, which will be released at mid-season.
Since the 1987-88 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. 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 2012 National Player of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA's annual awards breakfast in Denver, site of the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four.
No. 8/7 Kentucky will play again Sunday against its third top-10 opponent of the season when it travels to South Bend, Ind., to face No. 3/3 Notre Dame (9-1). Kentucky’s No. 7 ranking in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches poll is its highest ranking ever in the coaches poll. The game between the Wildcats and reigning national runners-up will tip off at 1 p.m. ET, and will be televised nationally on ESPNU.