New York's Cappie Pondexter and Phoenix's Diana Taurasi Named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week
Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi share Player of the Week honors for the third time this year and the second straight week
NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2010 – For the second consecutive week, the New York Liberty’s Cappie Pondexter and Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors, respectively.
This marks the first season that Kia Motors – an official WNBA marketing partner – has presented the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week award.
Pondexter earned the eighth Player of the Week honor of her career by leading the Eastern Conference in minutes (35.3 mpg), tying for third in scoring (19.0 ppg) and for seventh in assists (3.7 apg). In the process, the fifth-year pro out of Rutgers led New York to a 3-0 mark during the week and into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Pondexter, the league’s fourth-leading scorer (20.9 ppg), finished the week with back-to-back game-high scoring efforts with 20 points in an 88-79 win over Los Angeles and 24 in a 71-67 victory over Eastern Conference rival Connecticut.
Her effort against Connecticut also helped Pondexter surpass the 3,000 point mark for her career and become the second fastest WNBA player to accomplish the feat in terms of games, having done so in her 154th game (behind only Taurasi, 151 games). At 27 years, 206 days old today as of Aug. 1, she also became the third youngest player in WNBA history to reach the mark (behind the Seattle Storm’s Lauren Jackson, who reached the plateau in 2006 at 25 years and 27 days, and Taurasi, who did so in 2008 at 26 years and 28 days).
Taurasi, the WNBA’s leading scorer (24.0 ppg), earned the 13th Player of the Week award of her career after averaging a league-best 26.0 ppg during the week. She also tied for second in the league with 8.0 assists per game.
The University of Connecticut product helped the defending WNBA champion Mercury to a 2-1 mark that extended Phoenix’s lead to two games over San Antonio for second place in the Western Conference. Taurasi also helped the league’s highest scoring offense reach the 90-point plateau for the ninth time in the last 10 games.
Taurasi capped the week by pouring in 35 points and dishing out a career-best 11 assists in a 97-96 win over Chicago. That effort followed a 27-point, six-assist, four-rebound night in a 91-85 loss against the league-leading Seattle Storm and a 16-point, seven-assist, three-rebound game in a 110-92 win over Minnesota.
Other candidates for WNBA Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors were Chicago's Sylvia Fowles, Los Angeles’ Tina Thompson, San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, Seattle’s Lauren Jackson, and Tulsa's Ivory Latta.
The WNBA Western and Eastern Conference Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors are part of a series of oncourt performance awards called The WNBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors. The series, currently in its second season, includes four of the WNBA's most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Sixth Woman of the Year, along with the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month. Kia Motors has been an official WNBA marketing partner since 2008.
For more information on this week's Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors winners, visit www.wnba.com/awards.