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NEW YORK, September 27 - Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury was named the 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year, receiving 42 of a possible 48 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Other players receiving votes were Washington's Alana Beard (4) and Minnesota's Nicole Ohlde (2).
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
Among rookies, Taurasi was first in scoring, second in rebounding and assists, third in steals and free-throw percentage (76.0) and fourth in blocked shots (0.74).
In addition to her individual accomplishments, Taurasi helped the Mercury post 17 victories on the season, nine more than in 2003. That improvement ties the fifth best turnaround in WNBA history. Phoenix's 17-17 record was the first time since the 2000 (20-12) season that the team finished at or above the .500 mark.
As the WNBA Rookie of the Year, Taurasi will receive a Tiffany-designed trophy and $5,000.
Below are the complete results of the 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year voting, followed by a list of previous winners:
2004 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RESULTS
|42||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|4||Alana Beard||Washington Mystics|
|2||Nicole Ohlde||Minnesota Lynx|
PREVIOUS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR WINNERS
|2003||Cheryl Ford||Detroit Shock|
|2002||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever|
|2001||Jackie Stiles||Portland Fire|
|2000||Betty Lennox||Minnesota Lynx|
|1999||Chamique Holdsclaw||Washington Mystics|
|1998||Tracy Reid||Charlotte Sting|
Four networks will carry 2004 WNBA Playoffs action, which tips off on September 24. ABC, ESPN2, NBA TV and Oxygen provide coverage through the Conference Finals. The 2004 WNBA Finals will be televised exclusively on ESPN2.