McCarville Named WNBA Eastern Player of the Week

NEW YORK, June 16Janel McCarville of the New York Liberty and Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks were named the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, June 9 through Sunday, June 15.

McCarville collects her first-career Player of the Week award in her fourth WNBA season after averaging 18.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 61.5 percent (16-26) from the field. The former No. 1 pick helped push the Liberty over the .500 mark for the first time in 2008 with two wins this week against Atlanta and Minnesota.

On the road against Atlanta, McCarville tied her career-high in points (25 at Phoenix, Aug. 9, 2007) while also involving her Liberty teammates in the offense with a career-best seven assists. She led New York back from a 12-point deficit with just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to earn the squad’s first road win of the season. After New York tied the Dream at 74, McCarville assisted on Essence Carson’s go-ahead jumper and then sank a running layup shot which proved to be the game-winning basket. Against the Lynx, McCarville contributed to a balanced Liberty attack with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in New York’s one-point victory.

Selected by New York in the 2007 Charlotte Sting Dispersal Draft, McCarville is averaging 10.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists this season. In her first season with the Liberty, McCarville was named the 2007 WNBA Most Improved Player.

Leslie earns her league-record 15th-career Player of the Week award on the heels of a week in which she averaged 17.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 4.0 blocks in the Sparks’ three games. She led Los Angeles in scoring in each game as the Sparks sported an impeccable 3-0 record on the week, including wins over the defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Shock, the Connecticut Sun – owners of the best record in the league – and the Sacramento Monarchs.

At home against Detroit, Leslie scored 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds – both game highs – as the Sparks bounced back from a home loss to the Phoenix Mercury with a 80-73 win over the Shock. She followed that game up with her best performance of the year in the Sparks win over Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut Sun. The 10-year veteran put on a 22-point, 10-rebound, 4-assist showcase in Los Angeles’ 98-93 overtime victory. Both her point and assist totals were season-highs for the three-time WNBA MVP. With the team’s win over Sacramento in which Leslie scored 14 points, the Sparks improved to 3-0 on the week and 7-2 for the season, giving the team the league’s second-best record (Connecticut, 8-2).

Leslie currently averages 17.2 points per game and 10.1 rebounds for the season and is one of two players (Candace Parker) to average a double-double in 2008. She is only one of three players (Lauren Jackson, 12; Tamika Catchings, 11) to win more than 10 Player of the Week awards in a career.

Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Connecticut’s Asjha Jones, Detroit’s Tasha Humphrey, Phoenix’s Cappie Pondexter, Sacramento’s Nicole Powell, San Antonio’s Ann Wauters and Seattle’s Lauren Jackson.

Score tickets for when the Liberty returns to The Garden on Sunday, June 22 versus the defending WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury. Click here to purchase, visit The Garden Box Office or call 877-WNBA-TIX.