-- Taurasi, Ford Set WNBA Single-Season Records --

New York, August 14, 2006 – Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury, Cheryl Ford of the Detroit Shock and Nikki Teasley of the Washington Mystics have been named the 2006 WNBA Peak Performers for scoring, rebounding and assists per game, respectively.

The WNBA Peak Performers Program recognizes the league’s leaders in these categories at the conclusion of each regular season. Taurasi, Ford and Teasley will each receive a Tiffany trophy in honor of their accomplishment.

Taurasi led the league in scoring for the first time in her career, averaging a WNBA-record, 25.3 points per contest. The third-year pro also became the first WNBA player to reach the 800-point mark in a single season, finishing the 2006 campaign with 860 points. With both efforts, Taurasi bettered the previous marks established in 2001 by Katie Smith, then of Minnesota (23.1, 739). Taurasi’s 121 three-point field-goals made also relegated Smith (88) to second place in that single-season category.

While her season totals will dot the WNBA record book, it is perhaps Taurasi’s monumental single-game effort at Houston on August 10 that many will remember most. In that triple overtime thriller, won by Phoenix 111-110, Taurasi kept alive the Mercury’s hopes for a playoff berth when she established all-time WNBA single-game marks for most points (47), field-goals made and attempted (17-33) and three-point field-goals made and attempted (8-16) before fouling out during the second overtime period.

Ford grabbed the WNBA rebounding title for the second consecutive year, this time averaging 11.3 rebounds per game, and in the process became the WNBA’s all-time single-season rebounding leader with a total of 363 boards in 32 games played. Ford bettered the mark of 357 set in 2001 by Sacramento’s Yolanda Griffith.

Teasley garnered the assist award for the second time in her career, with 5.38 assists per game this season. She recorded team-high assists in 23 of 34 games, hitting her season-high of 11 on two occasions (June 6, vs. Houston; August 8, vs. San Antonio). Teasley also led the league with 6.1 assists per game in 2004. Her career average of 5.3 assists per game is third on the WNBA’s career chart, ranking her behind Ticha Penicheiro and Sue Bird.

2006 WNBA Peak Performers – Final Statistics

Top Five: Scoring Average

Player (Team) GFGFT PTS PPG
1. Diana Taurasi (Phoenix)34298143 86025.3
2. Seimone Augustus (Minnesota)34283148 74421.9
3. Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles)34257158 68020.0
4. Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix)32219139 62419.5
5. Lauren Jackson (Seattle)30 193170193 19.5

Top Five: Rebounding Average

Player (Team) GOR ORPG DR DRPG TOT RPG
1. Cheryl Ford (Detroit)32 1304.1 2337.3 36311.3
2. Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Connecticut)32 1043.2 2026.33069.6
3. Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles)34 83 2.4240 7.1 323 9.5
4. Michelle Snow (Houston) 34 78 2.3191 5.6269 7.9
5. Lauren Jackson (Seattle)30 702.3160 5.3 230 7.7

Top Five: Assist Average

Player (Team) GASTAPG
1. Nikki Teasley (Washington)34 183 5.38
2. Temeka Johnson (Los Angeles) 32 161 5.03
3. Sue Bird (Seattle)34162 4.76
4. Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut) 33 153 4.64
5. Diana Taurasi (Phoenix)34 139 4.09

Featuring 14 teams and the greatest female basketball players from around the world, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women’s professional team sports league in U.S. history. The 2006 WNBA Playoffs tips off August 17 and complete coverage will be provided by ABC, ESPN2 and NBA TV through the conference finals. The 2006 WNBA Finals will be televised on ESPN2. For more information, please visit WNBA.com.