Auburn In The WNBA: Week 8 Recap
July 7, 2010
AUBURN - Le'Coe Willingham started her first game of the season Tuesday in Seattle's 78-70 win over the New York Liberty. The former Tiger standout finished the game with 13 points, eight rebounds and one block to help the Storm to their league-best 16th win of the season.
The Storm trailed by as many as 11 in the game and faced a four-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, but outscored the Liberty 24-12 in the final period to secure the win. The win was the seventh straight for Seattle, which ties a franchise record.
Willingham also had a strong performance in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference when Seattle defeated the San Antonio Silver Stars 86-72 last Tuesday. The Augusta, Ga., native contributed 11 points, three rebounds, one block and one assist in the victory. Seattle followed up the victory over San Antonio by going on the road and defeating the Los Angeles Sparks 75-62 Saturday. The win was the fourth of the season for the Shock over the Sparks in as many tries. Willingham chipped in with five points and three rebounds in the win.
Willingham has played in all 18 games this season for Seattle and is averaging 5.5 points and 3.6 rebounds.
Seattle reaches the All-Star break with the best record in the WNBA at 16-2 and has an 8.5 game lead over San Antonio in the Western Conference. The Storm opens the second half of the season with three straight road games beginning with a contest at Phoenix next Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. CT. The road trip continues with games at Minnesota on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT and San Antonio on Monday, July 20, at 11:30 a.m. CT.
The Phoenix Mercury closed out the first half of the season by splitting four games over the past 10 days. The Mercury dropped games to the Atlanta Dream and the Washington Mystics before responding with victories over the New York Liberty and the Los Angeles Sparks.
Despite the Mercury falling 94-88 to Atlanta last Tuesday, DeWanna Bonner got her first start of the season and had her best all-around performance of the season with 17 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three blocks and one steal.
The Birmingham, Ala., native also played well in the loss to Washington two days later, coming off the bench to score nine points, grab two rebounds and deliver one assist.
The 2009 SEC Player of the Year contributed eight points and five rebounds in Phoenix's 97-82 win at New York on Saturday before closing the first half of the season with 16 points, three rebounds, two steals and one block in the Mercury's 98-89 win over Los Angeles Tuesday.
At the unofficial halfway point in the season, Bonner is 31st in the WNBA in scoring with 11.7 points per game and is 12th in the league with 6.6 rebounds per game. The second-year player is also in the top 10 in the league with 1.06 blocked shots per game.
Winners of two games in a row, Phoenix concludes the first half of the season in third place in the western conference at 7-11, nine games behind Seattle. The defending WNBA champions will open the second half of the season with a pair of home games, starting with a 2:30 p.m. CT, Wednesday game against Seattle. The Mercury will finish the week with a 9 p.m. CT, Saturday game against Tulsa.
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