DURHAM, N.C. –- With the All-Star break now in the rearview, the WNBA season is embarking on the home stretch. Each week, GoDuke.com will update how the Blue Devils are faring in the professional ranks --
As the second half of the WNBA season resumes, the Seattle Storm (20-7) remain in first place in the league. The Atlanta Dream (16-10) occupy second, having seen their eight-game winning streak recently come to an end. In fourth place are the Los Angeles Sparks (15-11), who have struggled throughout the middle stages of the season. After that comes the remaining logjam of teams with former Duke players: the fifth place Washington Mystics (15-11), the seventh place Connecticut Sun (14-12), and the eighth place Dallas Wings (14-12).
Gray Continues Stellar Season
Prior to Saturday’s All-Star festivities, Chelsea Gray erupted for a team-high 18 points against the Dream on July 24. Filling up the stat sheet in just about every area, Gray also recorded two rebounds, three assists, and two steals in the contest.
Thomas Delivers Big Game
In a July 24 tilt with the Mystics, Jasmine Thomas came up big, tallying 14 points, two rebounds, four assists, and one steal. The double digit effort marks Thomas’ seventh in her past nine games, as she has been a source of reliability for the Sun throughout the month of July.
Williams Becoming Scoring Threat
As the Dream push for the WNBA’s top spot in the standings, Elizabeth Williams has become more of a force on the offensive end of the floor. Williams registered her fourth double digit scoring effort in five games against the Mystics on July 31, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds—just one board shy of a double-double. In a July 24 win over the Sparks, Williams was a force once again, going for 12 points and six rebounds. She also scored her 1,000th career point in the victory, as the Dream extended their winning streak to eight games.
YES E! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/pjVZgz5AZq— Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) August 1, 2018
Currie Providing Useful Minutes
Monique Currie has remained productive in her bench role for the Mystics, accumulating nine points, two assists, one rebound, and one steal across 20-plus minutes of action on July 24 against the Sun. She chipped in another six points, two rebounds, and an assist in a July 31 win over the Dream.
Prior to Saturday’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Chelsea Gray was selected as Team Parker’s starting point guard by team captain Candace Parker and head coach Sandy Brondello. In Team Parker’s 119-112 win over Team Della Donne, Gray tallied five points, five rebounds, and two assists. Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx won her third straight All-Star Game MVP in the contest, scoring 18 points to go with eight rebounds, six assists, and one steal.
Brown to Play Overseas in Hungary
At the conclusion of the WNBA season, Lexie Brown plans to play in the Hungarian EuroCup for CMB Cargo Gyor. The deal was announced after she signed with IPZ sports agency last Wednesday.
LATEST - Uni Gyor reached an agreement with Lexie Brown pic.twitter.com/ZxkNfvurGO— Women Basketball of Europe (@womenhoops) July 19, 2018
Christmas-Kelly Staying Active
Since undergoing season-ending knee surgery in the second week of June, Karima Christmas-Kelly has been slowly progressing back to basketball-related activities. With the six-week mark in her rehab passing this past week, Christmas-Kelly took a moment to heave up a shot at practice on one leg.
Blue Devils Among League Leaders
As the calendar turns to August, former Blue Devils can still be found in the top-10 across various areas in the league leaderboards. Chelsea Gray currently sits at fourth in the league in both assists (5.3) and steals (1.6). She also enters the month seventh in minutes (32.4). Also in the top-10 in assists is Jasmine Thomas, whose 4.5 in that category is good for ninth. Alana Beard’s 1.5 steals per game ranks sixth, while Elizabeth Williams finds herself in sixth in the WNBA in blocks (1.6).
Eight Blue Devils Open on WNBA Rosters
This season, a total of eight Duke alumnae made final roster cuts across five different WNBA teams: Alana Beard (L.A. Sparks), Lexie Brown (Connecticut Sun), Karima Christmas-Kelly (Dallas Wings), Monique Currie (Washington Mystics), Chelsea Gray (L.A. Sparks), Jasmine Thomas (Connecticut Sun), Krystal Thomas (Washington Mystics), and Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream).
Duke Sports Second-Most Players in WNBA
With final rosters being trimmed down on May 17, Duke opened the season with eight alumnae playing for WNBA teams. This is the second-most of any school in the NCAA, trailing only UConn, who has 17. The teams of former Duke players are 9-4 through week one.
Games to Watch
Although there are not any games featuring Blue Devils going head-to-head on the court this upcoming week, the Sparks (Beard, Gray) will host the reigning WNBA Champions Minnesota Lynx this Thursday on ESPN 2.
Wednesday, August 1 – New York at Connecticut at 7pm
Thursday, August 2 – Dallas at Indiana at 7pm
Thursday, August 2 – Minnesota at Los Angeles at 10pm (ESPN 2)
Friday, August 3 – Chicago at Atlanta at 7pm
Friday, August 3 – Las Vegas at Washington at 7pm
Sunday, August 5 – Las Vegas at Connecticut at 3pm
Sunday, August 5 – Washington at Dallas at 4pm
Sunday, August 5 – Phoenix at Los Angeles at 7pm
Sunday, August 5 – Atlanta at Minnesota at 7pm