United States Basketball Writers Association April 1, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch
Familiar faces fill top team

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) A trio of three-time All-Americans leads the 2003-04 United States Basketball Writers Association Women's All-America first team, as chosen by voting from the association's membership.

National Player of the Year Alana Beard of Duke heads a first team composed of five repeat All-America honorees, all of whom are seniors. Penn State's Kelly Mazzante and Stanford's Nicole Powell are the two other three-time All-Americans named to the first team. Connecticut's Diana Taurasi and Nicole Ohlde of Kansas State are the other first-team selections.

Heading the second team is another three-time All-American, Lindsay Whalen of Minnesota, and two-time honoree Shereka Wright of Purdue. Rounding out the second team are first-time selections Shyra Ely of Tennessee, Chandi Jones of Houston and Stacy Stephens of Texas. Ely, a junior, is the only underclassman named to the team.

In the eight-year history of the USBWA Women's All-America Team, there have been eight three-time honorees, half of which are 2003-04 selections (Beard, Mazzante, Powell and Whalen). Ohlde, Taurasi and Wright are three of the 13 all-time back-to-back All-Americans.

Of the first team selections, Beard, Mazzante and Powell each her respective conference player of the year led their teams to within one game of the Final Four. Taurasi, the 2003 USBWA Player of the Year, has led her UConn Huskies to the national semifinals in each of her four seasons in Storrs. This season, she earned her second straight Big East Player of the Year honor. Ohlde was the Big 12 player of the year for the second straight season.

The USBWA, formed in 1956, names a women's player, coach, and freshman of the year in addition to its All-America team. Joe Curl of Houston was the Coach of the Year and Texas' Tiffany Jackson was named Freshman of the Year earlier this week by the organization.

No. First Team School Pos Ht. Yr. Hometown
20 Alana Beard Duke G/F 5-11 Sr. Shreveport, La.
13 Kelly Mazzante Penn State G 6-0 Sr. Montoursville, Pa.
3 Nicole Ohlde Kansas State F/C 6-5 Sr. Clay Center, Kan.
14 Nicole Powell Stanford F 6-2 Sr. Phoenix, Ariz.
3 Diana Taurasi Connecticut G/F 6-0 Sr. Chino, Calif.
No. Second Team School Pos Ht. Yr. Hometown
43 Shyra Ely Tennessee F 6-2 Jr. Indianapolis, Ind.
13 Chandi Jones Houston F/G 5-10 Sr. Bay City, Texas
31 Stacy Stephens Texas F/C 6-1 Sr. Winnsboro, Texas
13 Lindsay Whalen Minnesota G 5-9 Sr. Hutchinson, Minn.
50 Shereka Wright Purdue F 5-10 Sr. Copperas Cove, Texas
  Repeat selection
Player of the Year: Alana Beard, Duke; Coach of the Year: Joe Curl, Houston; Freshman of the Year: Tiffany Jackson, Texas.