Indiana's Tamika Catchings and Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen Named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week
NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2010
Tamika Catchings takes Player of the Week honors for the second time this season while Lindsay Harding claims her first.
– The Indiana Fever’s Tamika Catchings and the Minnesota Lynx’s Lindsay Whalen were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors, respectively, for games played Aug. 2-8.
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.
Tamika Catchings averaged 24.3 points, ranking second in the league, while shooting .490 from the field and .852from the line. She also tied for sixth in the league in rebounds, averaging 8.0.boards. The Fever went 2-1 on the week and remains in first place, one-half game ahead of the Atlanta Dream.
On Aug. 6, Catchings scored a season-high 30 points, including six of the team’s final seven points in a 95-93 come-from-behind victory over the Dream. She sealed the win with two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining in the game.
The former University of Tennessee player recorded her sixth double-double of the season, with a 24-point and 10-rebound effort in a 104-82 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Aug. 8. Catchings’ 66 career double-doubles rank her seventh in WNBA history in that category. This award marks the second time Catchings has won Player of the Week this season and the 14th of her career. Only Seattle’s Lauren Jackson (19) and legend Lisa Leslie (15) have more.
In the Western Conference, Lindsay Whalen won the award for the first time this season and the fifth time in her career. She finished fourth in the league with 21.3 points per game, while leading the league in minutes per game, with 38.3. From the charity stripe, Whalen knocked down 23-of-24 (.958) free throws
Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen ranks third in the league in assists
D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images
The Lynx went 2-1 for the week, winning both games in overtime to remain firmly in the Western Conference playoff race. Currently in fourth place, Minnesota is one-half game behind the third-place San Antonio Silver Stars and a half game ahead of the fifth-place Los Angeles Sparks. Whalen posted season highs with 27 points and 12 assists in a 111-103 win over the Connecticut Sun on Aug. 3, the first 20-point/10-assist game of her career and the first in Lynx history. Against the Sun, Whalen scored 10 of her points in overtime, setting a franchise record.
In the team’s Aug. 7 win at the Chicago Sky, 87-82, Whalen’s 19 points, seven assists and team- and season-high seven rebounds helped Minnesota overcome a 16-point halftime deficit to win in overtime, equaling the third biggest comeback in club history. Currently, Whalen ranks third in the WNBA in assists (5.7 apg), fourth in free throw accuracy (.908), and third in minutes (33.5 mpg).
Other candidates for WNBA Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors were Seattle’s Swin Cash, Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi, Los Angeles’s Tina Thompson, New York’s Nicole Powell and Leilani Mitchell, and San Antonio’s Sophia Young.
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.