Tamika Catchings and Candice Wiggins Named WNBA Players of the Week

NEW YORK, June 29, 2009Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever and Candice Wiggins of the Minnesota Lynx were named the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, June 22 through Sunday, June 28.

Catchings wins the 12th Player of the Week award of her career after averaging 18.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.5 assists for the week. She ranked second in the league for the week in rebounds per game and third in steals per game. Catchings led the Fever to a home-and-home series sweep of the New York Liberty to run the team’s winning streak to a franchise-record tying six games.

In Friday’s win at New York, Catchings scored 12 points in the final 10:14 (regulation and overtime), including a three-pointer with 14.4 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Her 24 points in the game helped the Fever come back from their second 17-point deficit in six days. The game also marked her first with 20 or more points this season; entering the season she had scored 20 or more points on 74 occasions. She hit her first 10 free throws of the week – and missed only one in the two games – and set a franchise record with 31 straight free throws.

Catchings, in her eighth year in the WNBA, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2005, 2006), a six-time All-WNBA honoree and a five-time All-Star. In each of her first six active seasons, she led the Fever in points per game, rebounds, assists and steals, something no other player ever done in one season. She currently ranks among the top 15 in the WNBA in points (14.6 ppg), rebounds (6.5 rpg) and assists (3.6 apg) for the season.

Wiggins earns her first career Player of the Week award following a week in which she averaged 23.5 points on 45.7 percent (16-35) shooting, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals. She led the league, among players who played more than one game, in scoring for the week while helping the Lynx to a perfect 2-0 as they reclaimed a share of first place in the Western Conference.

She led the team in scoring in Tuesday’s win with game-high totals of 25 points and five assists against the New York Liberty. She also swiped a season-high three steals in the game, as part of 20 turnovers forced by the Lynx. On Saturday, both she and Roneeka Hodges scored a game-high 22 points while adding four assists and a season-high six rebounds. The 44 combined points by Wiggins and Hodges contributed to the team’s 109 points, second-most in franchise history.

Wiggins, the second Lynx player to be named Player of the Week this season, was the 2008 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year. She was selected third overall in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Lynx. For the season, she is averaging 14.2 points per game 2.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds.

Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Erika de Souza, Connecticut’s Asjha Jones, Phoenix’s Cappie Pondexter, Sacramento’s Rebekkah Brunson, San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, Seattle’s Lauren Jackson and Washington’s Lindsey Harding.

About the WNBA
The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement and diversity. Comprised of 13 teams, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The league concluded its historic 12th regular season with increases in attendance, ratings, Web traffic and merchandise sales. The 2009 WNBA season tipped off June 6 on ABC.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.

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