Pair of Former No. 1 Overall Picks Named WNBA Players of the Month Presented by Samsung
NEW YORK, August 5, 2014 Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx and Tina Charles of the New York Liberty were named the WNBAs Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Month presented by Samsung, respectively, for games played in July.
The Player of the Month awards, as well as the WNBA Rookie of the Month, are presented by Samsung and are part of the larger WNBA Performance Awards presented by Samsung program. This marks the first season that Samsung, an official WNBA marketing partner, will present the WNBAs highest individual honors, including the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Most Improved Player, WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, and WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.
For Moore, the Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Samsung is her second of the season and the fourth of her career. Moore has now captured four of the past five such honors dating back to 2013. She also this week became the first player in league history to win Player of the Week honors in four consecutive weeks.
Moore, the WNBAs top draft pick in 2011, carried Minnesota to a 9-1 mark in July as the Lynx improved to 21-6 overall and clinched a playoff berth. The reigning MVP of the WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile, Moore led the WNBA in scoring (26.4) during the month. Among Western Conference qualifiers, she ranked second in steals (1.9 spg), third in rebounds (8.6 rpg), tied for eighth in blocks (0.7 bpg), and 10th in assists (3.6 apg).
The fourth-year pro scored 20-plus points in eight of 10 games, including four outings of 30 or more points. Foremost among her efforts was a 48-point, 10-rebound performance in a 112-108 double-overtime win over the Atlanta Dream on July 22. The 48 points marked the second-highest total in a single game in WNBA history and gave Moore her 10th 30-point game of the season, tying the leagues single-season record, set by Diana Taurasi in 2008. (Moore posted her record 11th 30-point outing with 40 points against Tulsa on Aug. 2).
Additional highlights of Moores play in July included:
July 8 vs. Los Angeles: 30 points, six rebounds, and three assists in a 83-72 victory
July 10 at Tulsa: 33 points and 11 boards as Minnesota earned a 91-85 decision
July 13 vs. Seattle: 26 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists in a 77-60 win
July 16 vs. Tulsa: 32 points, nine boards, five assists, and two steals in a 93-82 win
July 31 vs. Phoenix: 20 points, nine rebounds, and four steals as the Lynx halted the Mercurys 16-game winning streak with a 75-67 victory.
For the season, the University of Connecticut product ranks atop the league in scoring (24.7 ppg), fifth in free throw percentage (.882, 135-of-153), sixth in steals (1.96 spg), tied for sixth in double-doubles (eight), and eighth in rebounding (8.2 rpg).
For Charles, the leagues No. 1 overall draft pick in 2010 and the regular-season MVP in 2012, the Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by Samsung is her first of the season and the fourth of her career.
Charles led the Liberty to a 6-4 mark in July as New York improved to 11-15 overall. The former No. 1 overall draft pick in 2010 paced the Eastern Conference in scoring (21.1 ppg), rebounding (11.2 rpg), and
minutes (35.4 mpg), while also ranking second in double-doubles (seven), fifth in blocks (1.2 bpg), and ninth in field goal percentage (.481, 89-of-185) and free throw percentage (.825, 33-of-40). Charles scored 18-plus points in eight of 10 games, including six outings of 20 or more points.
Additional highlights of Charles play in July included:
July 1 vs. Tulsa: 28 points, 14 rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks in a 90-74 win
July 6 vs. Minnesota: 32 points, 10 boards, and two steals in a 87-80 victory
July 16 vs. Atlanta: 18 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists as New York came out on top, 77-75
July 23 at Los Angeles: 31 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks in a 66-64 win
July 29 vs. Washington: 23 points and 12 rebounds as New York prevailed, 80-76
For the season, Charles, like Moore a product of the University of Connecticut, is second in the WNBA in rebounding (12.0 rpg) and double-doubles (14), and ranks fifth in scoring (18.4 ppg).
For more information on this year's WNBA Performance Awards presented by Samsung, visit www.wnba.com/awards.