More honors for Jones, Ogwumike, a pair of all stars
Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun and Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks have been named the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week for games played from July 8th through July 14th.
Jones averaged 16.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game during this stretch, good enough for third and second in the Eastern Conference and sixth and fifth in the league, respectively. Jones also ranked second in the league during the week in blocks, at 2.33.
Jones, who led her 11-6 Connecticut Sun to a 2-1 week, collects her fourth Player of the Week honor of the 2019 season. She was previously recognized as such for three consecutive weeks earlier in the year — for games played through 5/27-6/2, 6/3-6/9, and 6/10-6/16.
The Sun’s successful week was all-important for a team that needed a confidence boost, having previously lost five straight following a 9-1 start to the season. Though Jones struggled during Connecticut’s loss to Atlanta on Wednesday, shooting just 2-12, she secured a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) in a home victory against Phoenix on Friday, and scored 26 points and went 11-19 from the field in a road win at Indiana on Sunday.
On the season, Jones ranks eighth in scoring in the league at 15.7 points per game and first in rebounding, at 10.3 per game.
Ogwumike posted an 18.0 points per game average during the week, ranking fifth in the league and third in the Western Conference. She also grabbed 10.3 rebounds per game, placing second in the conference and league. This is her first Player of the Week honor this season.
Los Angeles, 9-7, was on the road for the entire week. Ogwumike’s trip consisted of scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds in a loss at Dallas on Tuesday, 22 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals in a win at Indiana on Friday, and then 17 points and 15 rebounds in a win in Atlanta on Sunday. Before these three impressive performances, she scored 31 with 10 rebounds against Washington last Sunday.
Ogwumike ranks tenth in the league in scoring on the year, at 15.5 points per game, and second in rebounding, at 9.5 per game. The former league MVP has proven effective in her first year playing professionally alongside her sister, Chiney, who requested a trade to reunite with Nneka before the season began (the two played together in college at Stanford).
The Sparks, similar to the Sun, have temporarily righted the ship after a brief stretch of concern. Los Angeles has won four of five, going 2-1 this week, after dropping four straight. However, Candace Parker‘s health continues to be a issue — she came out of Tuesday’s Wings game after playing just six minutes and has not returned to action since.
With Jones posting numbers characteristic of an MVP candidate as well as Ogwumike’s production rising in Parker’s absence, look for both forwards to lead each of their teams as they battle for playoff positioning throughout the second half of the season.
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