Feb. 12, 2013
RUSTON - The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Louisiana Tech guard Kelia Shelton as its Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 10.
As the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week, Shelton 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.
Shelton averaged 33.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, shooting 62 percent (24-39) from the field, including 6-9 on three-point attempts. She becomes the first player from a non-AQ conference to earn the award this year, joining the likes of Penn State's Maggie Lucas, Colorado's Chucky Jeffery, Texas A&M's Kelsey Bone, Illinois' Karisma Penn, Notre Dame's Kayla McBride, Baylor's Brittney Griner, Connecticut's Stefanie Dolson, Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike and Georgia's Khaalidah Miller.
In a 79-73 win against UTSA, she scored 45 points to top the previous 22-year-old WAC individual game mark of 44 points and score the highest total in a Division I game this season. The point total was also the second highest in the storied history of the Louisiana Tech program, falling just two points shy of Sheila Ethridge's record performance of 47 against Texas Pan American on Feb. 23, 1991.
"I took the loss to UTSA (at home) hard," Shelton said referring to a last second 51-50 loss on Jan. 12 in Ruston. "I was focused and determined to get this win in any way possible. I didn't know it would end up in a 45-point night, but it felt really great to get the win.
"At halftime coach (Weatherspoon) said I had 21 points. I came out in the second half focused and determined to stay with it and get the win. I was feeling really confident, and it led to a great night."
Weatherspoon said that the most impressive thing about Shelton's performance was that it all come within the context of the Lady Techsters offense.
"It was really nice to watch. All of her shots were taken within our offensive set. They were good shots. Her teammates did a good job of setting screens to get her open. She felt really good. We didn't want to take her out of her rhythm." She followed up with 22 points and 11 rebounds in her next game against Texas State, a 68-63 loss.
Shelton will lead the Lady Techsters into this week's home games against Seattle on Thursday night and Idaho on Saturday night with tipoffs set for 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center.
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.