NEW YORK, September 5, 2012 – Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever and Kristi Toliver of the Los Angeles Sparks were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Boost Mobile, respectively, for games played from Aug. 16 (when the league resumed play following its break for the 2012 Olympic Games) through the end of the month.
This marks the first season that Boost Mobile – the leaguewide marquee partner of the WNBA – has presented the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month awards.
For Catchings, the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by Boost Mobile award is the second of her career. She previously earned the award in July, 2010, the first year in which the league recognized monthly performance.
In leading the Fever to a 6-1 record in July (tops in the East), Catchings helped Indiana clinch its eighth consecutive berth in the WNBA Playoffs presented by Boost Mobile, the longest active streak in the Eastern Conference. Along the way the 11th-year pro shared the conference lead in steals (2.14 spg), ranked third in scoring (16.6 ppg), tied for third in both assists (4.1 apg) and blocks (1.29 bpg), and was fourth in rebounds (7 rpg).
The WNBA career leader in steals and free throws made (827 and 1,541, respectively), Catchings also ranks in the top 10 all time in rebounds (fourth, with 2,551), points (fifth, 5,618), assists (eighth, 1,230), three-point field goals made (eighth, 491), and total field goals made (tenth, 1,793).
Catchings’ stellar effort during August came on the heels of her performance in the 2012 Olympics where she helped the United States Women’s Olympic Basketball Team earn a fifth consecutive gold medal (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012), an Olympic record for traditional women’s team sports.
Highlights of Catchings’ WNBA action in August included:
• Aug. 16 vs. Washington: Double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds in an 84-66 win
• Aug. 18 vs. Atlanta: 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists in an 86-72 victory
• Aug. 28 vs. Washington: 17 points, five boards, five assists, two steals, and two blocks in an 83-68 win
• Aug. 30 at New York: 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in a 76-63 win
• Sept. 1 vs. Chicago: Double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, three steals in an 81-64 win
Toliver, who last week was named the Western Conference Player of the Week presented by Boost Mobile for the first time in her career, now adds her first ever Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Boost Month award. It marks the fourth straight month in which a Sparks’ player has earned the Western Conference honor (Candace Parker won the award in May, June, and July).
A fourth-year pro from the University of Maryland, Toliver led all Western Conference players in scoring (23.8 ppg), field goal percentage (.625 on 40-of-64 shooting) and three-point field goal percentage (.655, going 19-of-29 from beyond the arc), while also finishing third in assists (5.2 apg), and eighth in free throw percentage (.870, making 20-of-23 shots from the charity stripe).
Having flourished under new head coach Carol Ross and putting up career-high figures for scoring (18.7 ppg), assists (4.9 apg), and starts (26 games), Toliver helped the Sparks to a 4-1 mark in August. In the process, Los Angeles improved its overall record to 19-7 at month’s end (now 19-9) and clinched a spot in the WNBA Playoffs presented by Boost Mobile for the first time since 2010.
Highlights of Toliver’s month included:
• Scored 21 or more points in all five games and logged five or more assists three times
• Tied her season (and career) high of 29 points, reaching that figure for the third time
• Aug. 16 at Seattle: Recorded 22 points and five assists in an 82-71 win
• Aug. 23 vs. San Antonio: Logged 29 points and dished out six assists in a 101-77 victory
• Aug. 25 vs. New York: Finished with 26 points and four assists in an 87-62 win
• Aug. 30 at Tulsa: Closed the month with a 21-point, eight-rebound effort in a 99-85 loss
The WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Boost Mobile are part of a series of on-court performance awards called the WNBA Performance Awards presented by Boost Mobile. The series, currently in its first season, also includes the WNBA Players of the Week presented by Boost Mobile and four of the WNBA's most prestigious year-end honors: WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Boost Mobile, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Boost Mobile, WNBA Sixth Woman presented by Boost Mobile, and WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Boost Mobile.
For more information on this week's Players of the Month presented by Boost Mobile winners, visit www.wnba.com/awards.