NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2012 Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever and DeWanna Bonner of the Phoenix Mercury were named the WNBAs Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Boost Mobile, respectively, for games played Aug. 27 through Sept. 2.
This marks the first season that Boost Mobile the WNBAs leaguewide marquee partner has presented the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week awards.
For Catchings, the reigning league MVP, her fourth Player of the Week award presented by Boost Mobile honor this season gives her 18 for her career, second most in league history behind only Seattles Lauren Jackson (19).
Catchings led Indiana to a 3-0 record for the week as the Fever clinched a berth in the WNBA Playoffs presented by Boost Mobile for the eighth consecutive season. Indiana improved to 17-8 overall 1 games behind Eastern Conference leader, Connecticut (19-7) with wins over conference foes Washington, New York, and Chicago.
The 11th-year pro opened the week with 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks as Indiana downed the visiting Washington Mystics, 83-68. She then scored a game-high 22 points, grabbed five boards, and added four assists and three steals in a 76-63 road win over the New York Liberty. Catchings closed out the week with a double-double, her sixth of the season, with a 17-point, 10-rebound effort that also included three steals, two assists, and a pair of blocks as Indiana clinched a playoff berth.
For the week, Catchings ranked second among Eastern Conference players in both scoring (18.7 ppg) and steals (2.7 spg), tied for fifth in blocks (1.33 bpg), and finished tied for sixth in both rebounds (6.7 rpg) and assists (3.7 apg). In the process, the University of Tennessee product made 50 percent of her shots from the field (19-of-38, including three of six from three-point range) and 15-of-16 attempts from the free throw line.
For Bonner, winner of the WNBAs Sixth Woman of the Year award in each of the past three seasons, this marks the second Player of the Week award presented by Boost Mobile of 2012 and the third of her career.
The Auburn University product, who has started all 25 games for the Mercury to date this season, ranked second in the Western Conference in both scoring (23.0 ppg) and rebounding (10 rpg), while tying for second in blocks
(1.5 bpg). She also averaged three assists per outing as Phoenix defeated the host Seattle Storm, 75-68, and returned home to defeat the San Antonio Silver Stars, 94-90.
Bonner opened the week with game highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds at Seattle, where she also contributed two steals, a pair of assists, and a blocked shot. She then registered 22 points and a game-high nine rebounds along with four assists and a pair of blocks vs. San Antonio as the Mercury won consecutive games for the first time this season.
Bonner leads the Mercury to date in both scoring (20.2 ppg) and rebounds (7.4 rpg). Her scoring output is more than eight points per game better than that of her previous best campaign, when she averaged 12 ppg in 2010.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week presented by Boost Mobile were Atlantas Erika de Souza, Chicagos Epiphanny Prince, and New Yorks Cappie Pondexter in the East, and, in the West, Minnesotas Rebekkah Brunson and Tulsas Ivory Latta.
The WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Boost Mobile are part of a series of on-court performance awards called the WNBA Performance Awards presented by Boost Mobile. The series, currently in its first season, also includes the WNBA Players of the Month presented by Boost Mobile and four of the WNBA's most prestigious year-end honors: WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Boost Mobile, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Boost Mobile, WNBA Sixth Woman presented by Boost Mobile, and WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Boost Mobile.