Erin Thorn Named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

New York, May 29, 2007Erin Thorn of the New York Liberty and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Saturday, May 19 through Sunday, May 27.

Thorn receives the honor for the first time in her five-year career after leading the Liberty to their best season start since 1999 (with 2-0). Her breakout performance of 28 points on May 20, including 7-for-10 three-pointers, five rebounds and four assists, resulted in an 83-71 victory over the Chicago Sky. She followed that up on May 24, with 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and 6-for-11 field goals, including four from three-point range, as New York defeated the Washington Mystics, 81-76.

A first-year starter for the Liberty, Thorn currently leads the league in three-point field goals made (11) and is ranked second in points per game (22.5), behind Taurasi (23.7).

Taurasi led the Mercury to a 2-1 record last week and, in the process, became the second-fastest player in league history to score her 2,000th career point. She reached the milestone on May 25 when she poured in 37 points along with four assists and four steals while shooting 11-for-18 field goals and 9-for-9 free throws, in a 111-85 victory over the Houston Comets. She also became the fourth player in league history to reach at least 10 games with 30 or more points.

Through three games, Taurasi is averaging 23.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, four assists and shooting 95 percent from the free throw line (19-for-20) and 50 percent from three-point field goal range (12-for-24).

The 2007 WNBA season marks the first in which the league will award the Player of the Week honor to one player per conference.

Other candidates for WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Detroit’s Deanna Nolan, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, Washington’s Alana Beard, Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus, Sacramento’s Kara Lawson and Seattle’s Janelle Burse.

The WNBA tipped off its second decade of play on May 19, 2007, featuring comprehensive national television coverage. ESPN2 and ABC will combine to televise up to 36 games nationally during the regular season and playoffs. The second straight year of “WNBA Tuesdays” on ESPN2 includes five doubleheaders and WNBA action on 11 of 14 Tuesday nights in-season. NBA TV will complement ABC and ESPN2's coverage by televising 70 regular-season and up to nine playoff games. The WNBA All-Star Game will be played at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on July 15 at 3:30 pm ET with live coverage on ABC.