WNBA.com Power Rankings: July 11, 2006

The 2006 WNBA season has officially reached its halfway point. Teams and players will take a much-deserved break (well, some of them), but now things will begin to really get exciting. While the top three remain teams the same from last week... the Sparks, Sun and Shock, many teams have moved around since last week's rankings. We finally have a change in the bottom of the rankings as well. the Chicago Sky are back out of the cellar for now. Also, in the middle of the pack, the Houston Comets are sliding while the Monarchs are on the rise.

2006 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week Seven
TEAM (last)
1 16-5After suffering their second biggest loss of the season to the San Antonio Silver Stars, 63-85, the Sparks won three in a row last week. On Wednesday, Chamique Holdsclaw led the way, scoring 19 points as the Sparks defeated the Comets 74-62. Two nights later, Lisa Leslie was two assists shy of a triple-double as she finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists in a Sparks victory over the Indiana Fever 72-60. On Saturday, the Sparks finished the week and entered the All-Star break with a win over the Sting, 66-64.
Upcoming: at Phoenix, at Minnesota
2 14-5The entire starting five from the Connecticut Sun will be making the trip to NYC to play in the All-Star Game on Wednesday, and they are all deserving, especially after a 2-0 week and a first place standing in the Eastern Conference. The Sun kicked off the week with a 76-71 win over over the Sting and finished the first half of the season by defeating the Mercury 82-77 on Saturday.
Upcoming: at Sacramento, at Seattle
13-6Despite coming off a big win over Connecticut with a shocking loss to the Phoenix Mercury to start the week, Detroit is only one game behind the first place Sun in the Eastern Conference and in this weeks Power Rankings. Last weekend the Shock beat Minnesota, 92-80, and Houston, 66-60, on the road to improve their record to 13-6. Detroit has now won five of its last six road games and nine of their last eleven overall.
Upcoming: vs. San Antonio, vs. Charlotte
4 12-8

Sacramento moves up three places this week after winning three straight last week, including two on the road at New York and Washington on back-to-back nights. The last team to take those two cities so effectively were the Clintons. At the midway point, the Monarchs, who have won five of their last seven, currently stand in second place in the cluttered Western Conference playoff race.
Upcoming: vs. Connecticut, at Seattle


After losing two straight to the top two teams in this week's Power Rankings, the Fever, led by All-Star Tamika Catchings' 20 points and 8 rebounds, held onto a 24-point lead heading into the fourth quarter to come away with a 74-62 road win over the Seattle Storm on Sunday. Nine of Indiana's remaining 14 games will be played at home, which will be crucial to its playoff seeding.
Upcoming: at Charlotte, vs. Houston


Seattle could not keep its three-game winning streak alive in the only game on the schedule last week as the Storm fell to the Indiana Fever, 62-74. Led by All-Star Lauren Jackson's 19 points and six rebounds, the Storm fought back from a 31-point deficit, but their comeback effort came up short as they ran out of time. The Storm are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference.
Upcoming: vs. New York, vs. Connecticut


The Houston Comets drop three places in this week's Power Rankings after going 0-3 for the week, including a rare home loss. After losing to the Sparks, 62-74, on Wednesday and the Silver Stars, 75-94, on Friday, the Comets could not recover from a 12-point halftime deficit as they lost to the Detroit Shock 60-66 on Sunday... Not a very good way to end the first half of the season in such a tight race out west.
Upcoming: at Chicago, at Indiana

8 10-9The San Antonio Silver Stars continue to move up in the Power Rankings and in the standings after winning four of their last five. Led by Agnieszka Bibrzycka's 17 points and All-Star Sophia Young's near triple-double (16 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists), the Silver Stars defeated the Houston Comets on Friday, 94-75. Two days later, the Silver Stars couldn't keep their momentum going as they fell to the Minnesota Lynx, 85-80.
Upcoming: vs. Detroit, at New York
9 10-10After losing two in a row last week and seven of their last nine, the Mystics were lucky to have Chicago on the schedule. On Sunday, Washington ended its two-game skid by beating the Sky, 89-83, to finish the week with a 1-2 record. The Mystics will look to make it two in a row when they face Chicago again next Sunday in their first game back after the break.
Upcoming: at Chicago, vs. Phoenix
Phoenix (10)
8-10 All-Stars Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi led the Mercury to a 2-1 record last week to keep Phoenix alive in the Western Conference playoff hunt. On Thursday, Pondexter set a WNBA rookie record with 35 points in a victory over the Detroit Shock. On Sunday, Taurasi scored a career-high 36 points in an overtime win over the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden, the home of this week's All-Star Game.
Upcoming: vs. Los Angeles, vs. New York
7-12The Minnesota Lynx move up one spot in this week's Power Rankings thanks to two wins. Top overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft Seimone Augustus proved that she belongs in the All-Star Game by averaging 27.7 points per game for the week. The Lynx will play their final two of a five-game home stand when they return from the break.
Upcoming: vs. Los Angeles, vs. Chicago
4-14The Liberty have now lost to the two teams with the worst record in the WNBA, the Chicago Sky and Charlotte Sting. After losing on their homecourt to Sacramento, 58-79, on Thursday, the Liberty became the second team ever to lose in Chicago as the Sky defeated the Libs 73-78. Things didn't get much better for New York at the end of the weekend as they lost to the Phoenix Mercury in overtime, 94-88. Seven of their next 10 are on the road, and with Becky Hammon on the shelf for awhile, things are not looking good for the Lib.
Upcoming: at Seattle, at Phoenix
Chicago (14)
3-15THE SKY MOVE UP! Thanks to two wins in their last four, Chicago is no longer last in our Power Rankings. The Sky finished 1-1 last week with a win over the New York Liberty, 78-73, their second home win of the season, followed up with a loss coming to the Washington Mystics, 89-83, on Sunday.
Upcoming: vs. Houston, vs. Washington
3-16It was a tough call, but the Charlotte Sting fall down to last place in the Power Rankings this week on account of the team having lost 12 of their last 13 and finishing the week 0-3 with losses coming to the Sun, Sparks, and Monarchs.
Upcoming: vs. Houston, vs. Washington