New York's Pondexter and Phoenix's Taurasi Named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week
NEW YORK, July 26, 2010
Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi share Player of the Week honors for the second time this year
– The New York Liberty’s Cappie Pondexter and Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors, respectively, for games played July 19-25. This is the second weekly honor for each player this season.
This marks the first season that Kia Motors – an official WNBA marketing partner – has presented the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week award.
Pondexter earned the seventh Player of the Week honor of her career following a week in which she led the league in minutes (37.7 mpg), as New York posted a 2-1 record on the road. The Chicago native also was the league’s fifth leading scorer (22.0 ppg) and tied for fifth in assists (6.0 apg). For the season, Pondexter ranks fourth in the league in scoring (21.2 ppg) and seventh in assists (5.0 apg).
Pondexter opened the week by scoring six of her game-high 24 points in overtime as the Liberty beat the host Connecticut Sun 82-74. She also added six rebounds and logged the first of three consecutive games with six assists. Pondexter next scored 16 points in a win at Chicago and capped the week with a team-high 26-point effort at Atlanta.
En route to earning the 12th Player of the Week award of her career, Taurasi led the defending champion Mercury to a pair of road wins in which Phoenix set a WNBA single-game scoring record in back-to-back games. On Thursday at Tulsa, Taurasi scored a game-high 26 points and added five assists in a 123-91 victory. Two days later she scored 11 of her 31 points in the second overtime and tied a league record for most free throws without a miss in a single game (14) as Phoenix defeated Minnesota 127-124 in the highest-scoring game in WNBA history. The sixth-year pro also contributed six rebounds and six assists against the Lynx as Phoenix further solidified its hold on second place in the Western Conference.
The league’s leading scorer (23.8 ppg) thus far in 2010, Taurasi averaged 28.5 ppg during the week, second only to the 29.0 ppg posted by Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus. She also tied for eighth in the league with 5.5 assists per game.
Other candidates for WNBA Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors were Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry, Chicago's Sylvia Fowles, Indiana's Briann January, Los Angeles' DeLisha Milton-Jones, Seattle's Lauren Jackson, Tulsa's Shanna Crossley and Washington's Crystal Langhorne.
The WNBA Western and Eastern Conference Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors are part of a series of oncourt performance awards called The WNBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors. The series, currently in its second season, includes four of the WNBA's most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Sixth Woman of the Year, along with the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month. Kia Motors has been an official WNBA marketing partner since 2008.
For more information on this week's Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors winners, visit www.wnba.com/awards