January Shines Offenisvely, Minnesota's Whalen Does It All Duo Named WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week
NEW YORK, June 2, 2014 Briann January of the Indiana Fever and Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx were named the WNBAs Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played May 26 through June 1.
For January, a two-time member of the WNBAs All-Defensive Team (2012, 2013), the Player of the Week award is the first of her career. The sixth-year pro paced the Fever (3-3 overall, tied for third in the East) to a pair of wins last week while scoring 20 points in each game and playing extremely efficient basketball. Not only did January connect on all seven of her three-point attempts, she was 11-of-18 from the field overall, while registering nine assists and six steals against just three turnovers. On the season, January leads the Fever in scoring (15.8 ppg) and leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.714, 15-of-21).
January's first 20-point effort of the week came when she converted four of her six field goal attempts (including all three tries from behind the arc) and nine of her 10 free throws in a 79-65 win over the visiting Connecticut Sun on May 28. She then followed that up with a 7-for-12 effort from the field (including 4-of-4 from downtown), a season-high seven assists, and a career-high four steals in a 70-66 home win over the New York Liberty on May 31.
For Whalen, a three-time All-WNBA First-Team selection (2008, 2011, 2013), the Player of the Week award is the sixth of her career. The 11th-year pro led defending WNBA champion Minnesota to a 3-0 mark on the week as the Lynx improved to 7-0 overall and maintained the leagues lone undefeated record.
Whalen began her week by registering a game- and season-high 22 points, along with a team-leading four assists, as Minnesota handed the Chicago Sky its first loss of the season, 75-72, in front of a national television audience (ESPN2) on May 26. Included in her 22 points was a pair of jump shots during a late 12-4 run that secured the victory for Minnesota.
Four days later, Whalen contributed 19 points and five rebounds in an 88-72 home win over the San Antonio Stars. The outing also marked her second straight game without a turnover. She then closed out the week by leading Minnesota to a second consecutive win over the Stars, this one an 87-79 decision at San Antonio on June 1, on the strength of her 14 points and 10 assists. Whalen's first points/assists double-double of the season (her ninth overall as a member of the Lynx) also helped Minnesotas Cheryl Reeve earn the 100th regular season victory of her WNBA head coaching career.
On the season, Whalen ranks fifth in the WNBA in assists (5.4 apg), 10th in scoring (16.3 ppg), and second among the leagues point guards in rebounds (4.1 rpg).
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week in the Eastern Conference were Atlantas Tiffany Hayes, Chicagos, Jessica Breland, Elena Delle Donne, and Courtney Vandersloot, Connecticuts Chiney Ogwumike, New Yorks Tina Charles, and Washingtons Ivory Latta. Additional candidates in the Western Conference were San Antonios Kayla McBride, Seattles Crystal Langhorne, and Tulsas Glory Johnson.