Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Huskies update (3rd edition)

Here’s the weekly update on UConn alums around the league, with their season averages in key categories:

Connecticut Sun:
(1) Nykesha Sales (UConn, 1998): 13.5 points, 4.17 rebounds, 3.4 assists per game
Low-down: Sales (mild concussion) officially returned to the Sun this week, contributing four points, three assists and three rebounds in roughly 13 minutes in the Sun’s 67-61 win over New York. Evina Maltsi will probably keep her spot in the starting lineup at least for another game or two while Sales gets eased in, but as she proved in her last return from injury, Sales is still capable of putting up big numbers; she topped 20 points twice in the five games before the concussion.

(2) Asjha Jones (2002): 15.6 points, 6.12 rebounds, 45.7 field-goal percentage
Low-down: Jones had a solid week, scoring 12 points twice and 16 another time. She didn’t shoot particularly well (38.3 percent in three games) but in two games against New York, she mostly relied on jumpers from the outside, most of which came from the top of the key or the elbows extended. Don’t expect Jones to abandon her inside game, though – she is still very capable, especially tonight against Chicago, a team she scored 22 against on 9-of-12 shooting last time out.

Detroit Shock:
(1) Swin Cash (2002): 11.7 points, 6.27 rebounds, 2.5 assists
Low-down: With Cheryl Ford sidelined for at least the rest of the regular season, Cash is going to be relied upon even more for rebounds, and she’s responded. In her last four games, she’s averaged 7.25 boards per game and has grabbed 10 twice. She added 16 points in Detroit’s last game, a 75-73 win over Los Angeles on Sunday.

Indiana Fever:
(1) Ann Strother (2006): 2.5 points, 0.88 rebounds (in eight games played)
Low-down: Seeing action for the first time in six games on Friday, Strother responded by scoring 11 points and grabbing four rebounds in 14 minutes, the most she’s seen in one game all year. She followed that with six points in eight minutes a game later. The Fever, however, are still struggling without Tamika Catchings, as they’ve lost their last six contests.

New York Liberty:
(1) Ashley Battle (2005): 8 points, 4.04 rebounds, 1.00 steal
Low-down: Battle somewhat struggled in two games against the Sun this past week, scoring 10 points in 36 minutes between the two contests. The performances hardly compared to her last showing against the Sun when she netted 18 points in 30 minutes. It doesn’t help the Liberty are in a huge rut at the moment, having lost six straight.

Phoenix Mercury:
(1) Diana Taurasi (2004): 18.3 points, 4.46 rebounds, 4.3 assists
Low-down: After a relatively quiet stretch two weeks ago, Taurasi turned it on in her last three games, topping 15 points and four 3-pointers in all three contests. She was especially dominant in the Mercury’s 98-96 win over Chicago last Friday, scoring 26 on 10-of-14 shooting and dishing out five assists. Oh yeah, she also nailed the game-winner with five seconds left.

(2) Kelly Schumacher (2001): 4.5 points, 4.12 rebounds, 46.0 field-goal percentage
Low-down: Schumacher wasn’t a factor in any of the Mercury’s three wins last week, netting a total of seven points and seeing 15-plus minutes just once. She only hit two field goals between the three games and didn’t score in the team’s victory over Chicago. But considering the Mercury’s style of play, Schumacher is prone to stretches like this.

Seattle Storm:
(1) Sue Bird (2002): 10.1 points, 4.9 assists, 1.71 steals
Low-down: Bird had perhaps her best game since returning from her knee injury on Sunday, scoring 17 points, making three steals and dishing out five assists. Unfortunately it came in a 92-88 loss to San Antonio and Bird also committed five turnovers. Two games prior – another Seattle loss – Bird scored 12 points and added seven assists, but went 0-for-6 from behind the 3-point arc.

Los Angeles Sparks:
(1) Jessica Moore (2005): 4.0 points, 2.67 rebounds, 39.4 field-goal percentage
Low-down: Moore has started her team’s last four games and she hasn’t disappointed. Since the last Huskies Update, she’s averaged 8.3 points per game – more than double her season average – and scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting on Sunday. But, like many of her fellow UConn alums this week, her performances have all come in losses, as Los Angeles has lost 10 of its last 11 games.

Houston Comets:
(1) Barbara Turner (2006): 5.3 points, 1.88 rebounds, 42.9 field-goal percentage
Low-down: In the Comets’ only two games this week, Turner had contrasting performances, scoring two points in seven minutes one game before netting 11 in 20 minutes her next. In that second game – an 88-70 loss to Chicago – Turner made 8-of-9 field goals and hit her only field goal – a 3-pointer.

Minnesota Lynx:
(1) Svetlana Abrosimova (2001): 8.7 points, 4.11 rebounds, 2.3 assists
Low-down: Don’t look now but the Lynx have won two straight to end a 10-game losing streak and Abrosimova remained a big part of the team’s success. She tied a game-high of 23 points in Minnesota’s first win, hitting 9-of-16 shots, and followed that with a 10-point, five-assist performance two nights later.

(2) Tamika Raymond (2002): 0.9 points, 1.14 rebounds
Low-down: Raymond scored zero points in her team’s last three games, seeing eight minutes between the contests. She saw just one minute of action in the team’s 78-73 win over Sacramento on Sunday, the same night Seimone Augustus torched the Monarchs for 39 points.

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