Mercury's Taurasi, Chicago's Fowles Named Players of the Week
NEW YORK, August 15, 2011 – Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for regular season games played Monday, August 8 through Sunday, August 14.
Fowles’s 13.7 rpg led the league by a wide margin (4.4 more than second-ranked Rebekkah Brunson of Minnesota) and her 25.0 ppg ranked second in the league behind only the 26.5 ppg of Indiana’s Tamika Catchings. The Louisiana State University product also led the league in minutes played (37.0 mpg) and ranked second in shooting percentage (.659 on 29-of-44 from the field) as the Sky posted a 1-2 mark for the week.
Fowles, who registered three consecutive double-doubles, began the week with a 19-point, 11-rebound effort against the division rival Connecticut Sun and fellow center and league MVP candidate Tina Charles. The fourth-year pro then recorded 28 points and 13 boards in a 79-76 loss to the Minnesota Lynx. She closed out the week with another 28-point performance and a season-high 17 rebounds in an 85-73 win over the San Antonio Sivler Stars.
For the year, Fowles leads the WNBA in both field goal percentage (.584 on 192 of 329 from the field) and blocks (2.08 bpg), and ranks second in scoring (20.1 ppg), rebounds (10.0 rpg) and minutes played (34.8 mpg).
The Player of the Week award is the second of the year for Fowles and the fourth of her career.
Taurasi, meanwhile earned the 14th Player of the Week award of her career and her first such honor of 2011. The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft, Taurasi led all Western Conference players and ranked third in the league in scoring (22.7 ppg) as the Mercury posted a 2-1 record for the week. She also ranked among the conference’s leaders in free throw percentage (.867 on 13-of-15 from the line) and assists (4.3 apg).
Taurasi’s week began with a 26-point, six-rebound effort in an 85-80 win over Minnesota that was followed by a 21-point, five-assist outing in a 109-95 defeat of the defending Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream. The UConn product closed out the week by tallying 21 points and six assists in a road loss at Los Angeles.
On the season, the eighth-year pro leads the WNBA in scoring (20.9 ppg) and ranks 11th in assists (4.0 apg).
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry, Los Angeles’ Ticha Penicheiro, Minnesota’s Lindsay Whalen, New York’s Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix’s Penny Taylor, and Washington’s Crystal Langhorne.