Former ND star Diggins-Smith earns WNBA honor
Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Dallas Wings and Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun have been named the WNBA’s Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played June 19-25.
Diggins-Smith earned Player of the Week honors for the third time in her five-year career. Behind the 5-9 guard, the Wings went 3-0 for the week and improved to 8-8 overall. Among West players, the two-time All-Star selection was third in assists (6.7 apg), seventh in scoring (20.3 ppg) and 10th in field goal percentage (.541, on 20-of-37) last week.
The former Notre Dame star opened her week with a 16-point, six-assist effort in Dallas’ 81-78 victory over the visiting San Antonio Stars on June 21.
Two days later, in a rematch at San Antonio, Diggins-Smith scored a game-high 30 points and added five assists and three rebounds in the Wings’ 81-69 win. The 30-point effort, which included three made 3-point shots in the fourth quarter, was the first for Diggins-Smith since she tallied 31 points in the 2015 regular-season finale. She closed her week with 15 points, nine assists and three rebounds as Dallas defeated the Sun 96-82 to snap Connecticut’s five-game winning streak.
Thomas earned Player of the Week honors for the first time in her four WNBA seasons. In leading the Sun to a 1-1 week, Thomas paced Eastern Conference players in assists (6.5 apg), ranked fifth in rebounding (8.0 rpg) and tied for eighth in scoring (15.5 ppg).
The 6-2 forward opened her week with 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as Connecticut extended its winning streak to five games with a 94-89 road victory over the New York Liberty on June 23. The former University of Maryland standout then finished with 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in a 96-82 loss at Dallas on June 25. Connecticut finished the week at 6-6 overall after beginning the season with four consecutive losses.