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AP: Caitlin Clark Leads Angel Reese in Race for Rookie of the Year
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By Associated Press
Published 1 week ago on
July 9, 2024

Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark reacts during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the New York Liberty, Saturday, July 6, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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NEW YORK — Caitlin Clark leads Angel Reese in the race for WNBA Rookie of the Year honors at the midpoint of the season, according to a national panel of voters who also rank the AP Power Poll each week.

Clark and Reese have garnered national attention with record-setting rookie seasons — leading to them being the first rookie duo to make an All-Star team since 2014 — so it’s no surprise that they’re the leading candidates for the award.

The pair have helped the league to huge increases in ratings, attendance and merchandise sales and with so much basketball still to be played an argument can be made for either to win the award.

But at the halfway point, the 15-member panel gives the edge to Clark in a 9-5 vote. One person didn’t vote.

“Today, I would say Clark, only because they have one more win overall as a team and have a 2-1 lead head-to-head,” said voter Christy Winters-Scott, a basketball analyst for the Mystics. “Clearly this could change as the WNBA season progresses. It has been a complete joy for me to witness how both players have evolved as professionals in such a short amount of time in the league.”

Clark is leading the WNBA in points accounted for (points plus points off assists) with 713 according to ESPN. The Indiana Fever’s No. 1 pick also became the first rookie to have a triple-double in a game doing it in a win over New York.

Reese set the WNBA record for consecutive double-doubles with 13, passing Candace Parker’s mark of 12 set across the 2009 and 2010 seasons. She’s leading the league in rebounding with 11.9 a game.

The panel also picked Las Vegas star A’ja Wilson as the unanimous choice for Player of the Year at this point in the season. Wilson felt she should have won the award last year and this year has been even more dominant. She is averaging 27.0 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocks.

The Aces star forward is on pace to shatter the record for average points in a season. She became the Aces’ all-time scoring leader on Sunday.

Cheryl Reeve gets the mid-season nod for Coach of the Year. She guided the Minnesota Lynx to a Commissioner’s Cup title and has the team sitting in third in the standings. Reeve was a near unanimous choice, with Connecticut’s Stephanie White garnering the only other vote.

AP WNBA Poll

New York remains in the top spot in this week’s AP WNBA power poll with Connecticut moving back into second. Las Vegas, Minnesota and Seattle were the next three. Indiana and Phoenix were tied for sixth. Chicago and Atlanta followed. Washington, Los Angeles and Dallas rounded out the poll.

Caitlin Corner

Clark has had double figure assists in her last three games, including a 19-point, 12-rebound and 13-assist effort against New York last Saturday. The Fever have gone 6-3 in their last nine games. Indiana has a busy upcoming week, hosting Washington and Phoenix before visiting Minnesota on Sunday.

Rookie Watch

Rickea Jackson has come into her own lately. The fourth overall pick by the Los Angeles’ Sparks averaged 16 points 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists last week. She had a season-best 22 points in a loss to Phoenix.

Moving up the Scoring List

Tina Charles is 95 points behind Tina Thompson for second place on the WNBA all-time scoring list after the Atlanta Dream forward moved past Tamika Catchings on Sunday. Charles has scored 7,394 points in her career.

Player of the Week

Wilson earned AP Player of the Week honors. The Aces forward averaged 27.3 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks to help Las Vegas go 3-1. Other players receiving votes included Reese and Clark.

Game of the Week

New York at Connecticut, Wednesday. The teams with the top records in the WNBA will meet in a matinee camp day game. They’ll play once more in New York next Tuesday before taking a few weeks off before the Olympic break.

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