DURHAM, N.C. – As the 2012 WNBA campaign winds down to the end of the regular season, GoDuke.com checks in to see how the Duke alums are performing. The eight current WNBA players ranks third among collegiate programs.
Harding led Atlanta to a 2-1 record last week as the Dream improved to 16-14 overall, third best in the Eastern Conference with only three games remaining. In the process, the sixth-year pro ranked second in the East in assists (6.3 apg), tied for fourth in scoring (19.3 ppg), and tied for fifth in steals (1.67 spg), while leading the conference in minutes (36.3 mpg).
Harding opened the week with a then-season-high 20 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter as the Dream topped conference rival Indiana, 71-64. A few days later she surpassed that with a 23-point effort that included seven assists, four boards and two steals as Atlanta took Western Conference-leading Minnesota to double overtime before falling. Harding closed out the week by leading Atlanta past visiting Washington, 93-68, as she tied her season high of nine steals and contributed 15 points. With her outstanding week, Harding was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Alana Beard- Duke ‘04
LA Sparks, 5-11, Guard/Forward
2012 Stats: 29 games, 31.4 MPG, 10.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Alana Beard has helped lead Los Angeles to a 20-10 overall record on the season putting the Sparks in second place in the Western Conference behind only the Minnesota Lynx. Beard and the Sparks are coming off solid performances against Washington and Minnesota this week. Against Minnesota, Beard scored 17 points, and added four assists and three steals in a losing effort, and tallied 16 points, five assists, and four rebounds against Washington in a 96-68 win.
In the league, she ranks seventh in minutes played (910.0), eighth in steals per game (1.7), eight in minutes per game (31.4) and 15th in assists per game (3.4). The Sparks will next host Chicago on Thursday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Despite the Washington Mystics’ struggles this season, Monique Currie has contributed strong minutes off the bench including a 16-point showing against the Los Angeles Sparks on September 7. In the game, Currie played 27 minutes, and added four rebounds and three assist in a losing effort.
In the WNBA rankings she is 12th in free throws made per 40 minutes (3.3), 11th in free throw attempts per 40 minutes (4.2), and 46th in rebounds per game (3.4). Washington owns a 5-24 overall record on the season. The Washington Mystics will face the New York Liberty on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Jasmine Thomas has slowly become a bigger contributor to the Mystics, seeing increase in playing time since the all-star break including an outstanding performance against the Los Angeles on September 7. In the game, Thomas notched 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in 28 minutes of action.
Thomas has averaged 10 points, 3.3 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.3 blocks in the last three contests. Washington owns a 5-24 overall record on the season and will next face the New York Liberty on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Mistie (Bass) Mims has helped lead the Connecticut sun to a 21-8 overall record and first place in the Eastern Conference. She played a major role in the Sun’s seven-point victory over the Washington Mystics on Sept. 4. Mims posted 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting as she played 28 minutes against the Mystics. She also added seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
In the last three contests, Mims averaged 9.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.3 assists. In the league, she ranks 14th in rebounds per 40 minutes (10.0), 29th in free throw percentage (0.758), 27th in rebounds per game (4.3), and 18th in offensive rebounds per game (1.8). The Connecticut Sun will travel to Phoenix for their next contest on Wednesday, September 12 at 10:30 p.m.
Karima Christmas- Duke ‘11
Indiana Fever, 6-0, Guard/Forward
2012 Stats: 25 games, 9.8 MPG, 3.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.3 APG
Since being traded from Tulsa, Karima Christmas has played in 11 contests for the Indiana Fever. The 6’0 Guard/Forward is averaging 2.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 0.5 assists with Indiana. Although Christmas is finding her place with her new team, her contribution has helped the Fever win five of their last six putting them in second place in the Eastern Conference with an overall record of 19-9. The Fever are set to host the Seattle Storm on Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 pm.
Chante Black has seen more minutes on the court for the Shock since the all-star break, including a great performance against the Los Angeles Sparks on August 30. In that contest, Black saw a season high in both minutes and points when she played 29 minutes and scored 10 points on 3-5 shooting. Black also contributed four rebounds and one block in the game. The Shock currently has a record of 6-22, and is slated to take on San Antonio on Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 PM.
The Phoenix Mercury have won three of the last five games to give them a record of 7-21 on the year. In this five game stretch, Krystal Thomas has averaged 4.2 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game including a season-high 16-rebound performance against the Connecticut Sun on September 7. Thomas has five games this season in which she tallied 10 or more rebounds.
Thomas ranks ninth in rebounds per game (7.0), fourth in offensive rebounds per game (3.1), 17th in blocks per game (0.8), 14th in total rebounds (160) and 12th in rebounds per 40 minutes (10.9). The Phoenix Mercury will next play host to Connecticut on Wednesday, September 12th at 7:30 PM.