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NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2011 – Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury, Tina Charles of the Connecticut Sun, and Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx have won the 2011 WNBA Peak Performer Awards for scoring, rebounding, and assists, respectively, the WNBA announced today.
The WNBA presents the Peak Performer awards annually to the players who lead the league in each of those categories during the regular season. Each player will receive a Tiffany trophy in honor of her accomplishments.
In the tightest scoring race in league history, Taurasi edged Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry by less than one-tenth of a point -- 21.63 compared to 21.56 ppg. The previous closest scoring race occurred in 2004, when Lauren Jackson (20.45 pgg) eked by Tina Thompson (20.00 ppg) by .45 ppg.
Taurasi earned her fourth consecutive and fifth overall Peak Performer award for scoring after averaging 21.6 points in 2011. She also won the scoring title in 2010 (22.6), 2009 (20.4 ppg), 2008 (24.1 ppg), and 2006 (25.3 ppg).The eight-year veteran averaged more than 20 points for the fifth time in her career and shot 44.9 percent from the field. The University of Connecticut product scored 20 or more points in 23 games this season, including a season-high 36 against Seattle on Sept. 9. Taurasi also led the league in three pointers made (81) and ranks third all time in that category (663). She closed out the season ranked second all time in career scoring average (20.8 ppg) and fifth in points scored (5,423).
With 11.0 rebounds per game, Charles bested runner-up Sylvia Fowles (10.2 rpg) of the Chicago Sky to earn the rebounding honor. Charles, the 2010 Rookie of the Year captured her second consecutive rebounding title. Another former UConn product, Charles matched her single-game career high in rebounds (23) on June 28 against Los Angeles. She recorded 10 or more rebounds 23 times. Charles surpassed her previous league record of 22 double-doubles last season, with one more this year (23). She also recorded the second highest single-season rebound total in league history with 374. Charles also holds her record for most rebounds (398), which she established last season. Charles’ 16 rebounds in one half against Los Angles on June 28, tied the WNBA record for rebounds in a half.
Whalen recorded 5.9 assists per game to edge out San Antonio guard Becky Hammon (5.8 apg) for the assists crown; she handed out five or more assists in a game 26 times. Additionally, on Sept. 8, Whalen became the first player to record at least 20 points and 10 assists without committing a turnover. Whalen ranks fourth all time in assists per game (5.1 apg) and fifth in total assists (1,347).
2011 WNBA Peak Performers – Final Statistics
Top Five: Scoring Average
|1.||Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury)||32||208||195||692||21.63|
|2.||Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream)||33||235||223||712||21.56|
|3.||Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky)||34||263||154||680||20.0|
|4.||Crystal Langhorne (Wash. Mystics)||31||227||108||563||18.2|
|5.||Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun)||34||254||92||600||17.6|
Top Five: Rebounding Average
|1.||Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun)||34||126||3.7||248||7.3||374||11.0|
|2.||Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky)||34||100||2.9||247||7.3||347||10.2|
|3.||Rebekkah Brunson (Minn. Lynx)||34||96||2.8||205||6.0||301||8.9|
|4.||Tiffany Jackson (Tulsa Shock)||34||100||2.9||186||5.5||286||8.4|
|5.||Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury)||34||86||2.5||193||5.7||279||8.2|
Top Five: Assist Average
|1.||Lindsay Whalen (Minn.Lynx)||34||199||5.85|
|2.||Becky Hammon (SA. Silver Stars)||33||192||5.82|
|3.||Renee Montgomery (CT Sun)||34||167||4.91|
|4.||Sue Bird (Seattle Storm)||34||165||4.85|
|5.||Lindsey Harding (Atlanta Dream)||34||162||4.76|
|5.||Ticha Penicheiro (L.A. Sparks)||34||162||4.76|