Tina Charles of the Connecticut Sun and Rebekkah Brunson of the Minnesota Lynx were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for regular season games played in June, it was announced Wednesday.
Charles helped guide the Sun to the second best record in the Eastern Conference at 5-3 (.625), while Brunson led the Lynx to a 6-3 (.667) mark, second in the Western Conference standings.
Named Player of the Week twice this season, Charles leads her team in multiple statistical categories including points, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage. In June, the reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year ranked second in the league in points (19.8 rpg), and among Eastern Conference players, she ranked first in rebounds (11.0 rpg), fourth in blocks (1.50 bpg) and sixth in field goal percentage (.527 on 68-for-129 shooting).
A dominant force in the paint, Charles demonstrated her scoring and rebounding ability in an 83-68 victory over the Chicago Sky on June 19, registering a double-double with a season-high 31 points on 13-for-22 (.520) shooting and hauling in 13 rebounds.
In a 79-76 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on June 28, Charles scored 22 points and tied a career-high with 23 rebounds, the second 20-point, 20-rebound game of her career. She also had 23 rebounds June 25, 2010, against Phoenix, one board shy of tying Chamique Holdsclaw's league record of 24 set on May 23, 2003. Notably, Holdsclaw is the only other player in league history to have multiple 20-20 games, and also did it twice – on June 25, 2002 and May 23, 2003.
In addition, Charles had 16 second-half rebounds in the game, tying the WNBA record for rebounds in one half. Janell Burse also had 16 rebounds in the first half of a game on May 23, 2007. In terms of defensive rebounds, Charles finished with 16, falling one defensive rebound short of her career-high of 17, set at Atlanta on July 7, 2010.
Brunson, in her seventh season and second with the Lynx, has made a significant impact on the team’s successful start to the season. In June, she finished first in the league in rebounding (11.7 rpg), and among Western Conference players, ranked second in field goal percentage (.570 on 45-for-79 shooting).
While recording six consecutive double-doubles to begin the season, highlighted by five straight Lynx wins, Brunson recorded 17 points and 15 rebounds in a victory over Tulsa on June 7, and a season-high 22 points and 14 rebounds over the defending champion Seattle Storm on June 9, snapping the Storm’s 18-game regular season home winning streak.
In the following game, she scored 18 points and secured 14 rebounds in a 96-85 victory over the Atlanta Dream on June 17. In addition, Brunson matched a career high by dealing four assists in the season opener on June 3 against the Los Angeles Sparks.
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