Feb. 24, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame junior center Ruth Riley (Macy, Ind.) has been named one of 15 finalists for the 1999-2000 Naismith College Women's Basketball Player of the Year Award. The award, which is presented by the Atlanta Tip-off Club and will be announced in March, is regarded as the most prestigious honor in women's college basketball.
The finalists were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading college basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts.
Riley leads the Irish in scoring and rebounding this season with averages of 16.5 points and 7.2 rebounds. She ranks fourth nationally in field goal percentage (.676) and blocked shots (2.9). Last season, Riley finished as the nation's top field goal percentage leader as she connected on a school-record 68.3 percent accuracy from the field.
In two-plus season, she already is the career blocked shots leader with 244 and her 63.6 career field goal percentage ranks first all-time.
Riley is one of three BIG EAST players named to the list. The 14 other finalists include Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut), Edwina Brown (Texas), Tamika Catchings (Tennessee), Katie Douglas (Purdue), Summer Erb (North Carolina State), Stacy Frese (Iowa State), Tamicha Jackson (Louisiana Tech), Betty Lennox (Louisiana Tech), Maylana Martin (UCLA), Kelly Miller (Georgia), Lynn Pride (Kansas), Shea Ralph (Connecticut), Semeka Randall (Tennessee) and Jackie Stiles (Southwest Missouri State).
The women's Naismith was first presented in 1983 and winners have included Ann Donovan (Old Dominion), Cheryl Miller (USC), Clarissa Davis (Texas), Dawn Staley (Virginia) and Chamique Holdsclaw (Tennessee).