Liberty’s Tina Charles Named WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month

**COURTESY NEW YORK LIBERTY**

LIBERTY’S CHARLES AND LYNX’S MOORE NAMED WNBA PLAYERS OF THE MONTH PRESENTED BY SAMSUNG

NEW YORK, June 2, 2016 – Tina Charles of the New York Liberty and Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Samsung, respectively, for games played in May.

The Eastern and Western Conference Player of the Month awards, as well as the WNBA Rookie of the Month, are presented by Samsung and are part of the larger WNBA Performance Awards presented by Samsung program. This marks the third consecutive season that Samsung, an official WNBA marketing partner, will present the WNBA’s highest individual honors, including the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Most Improved Player, WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and WNBA Rookie of the Year.

For seventh-year pro Charles, the Eastern Conference award is the sixth of her career, a total that ranks second behind only Moore. For Moore, the Western Conference Player of the Month honor is the seventh of her six-year career and the most by any player since the award’s inception in 2010.

The Liberty has now accounted for the last three WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month awards dating back to last season, when Epiphanny Prince won for August, and Tina Charles took home the accolade in July. That ties for the second-longest such streak for a franchise in the award’s seven-year history.

Charles, the 2012 WNBA MVP and a former teammate of Moore’s at the University of Connecticut, led the WNBA in scoring (23.4 ppg) and rebounding (11.8 rpg) during May and recorded five double-doubles in as many games. She now ranks second-all-time with 114 career double-doubles in 203 games played. Only Lisa Leslie (157) has more.

Charles began the month with back-to-back games of 24 points and 11 rebounds – first in an 87-76 win at the Washington Mystics on May 14 and then in a 79-71 win over the visiting Dallas Wings in New York’s home opener on May 15. She went on to log 29 points, 10 boards, seven steals, and six assists in an 85-79 loss against the visiting Atlanta Dream on May 24. That latter outing marked just the third time in WNBA history that a player who scored at least 29 points in a game also tallied 10-or-more boards, five-or-more steals, and five-or-more assists (Brandy Reed, Phoenix at Charlotte, June 22, 2000; and Candace Parker, Los Angeles at Washington, June 1, 2014).

Additional highlights of Charles’ play in May included:
• May 21 vs. Los Angeles: 17 points, 16 rebounds in a 79-72 loss;
• May 31 vs. Minnesota: 23 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one block in a 79-69 loss.

Getting more comfortable shooting from the outside, Charles hit threes in back-to-back games for the first time in her career, doubling her career 3-point tally heading into 2016. Her 36.2 minutes per game leads the WNBA, and advance metrics show Tina engaged in a large portion of the Liberty’s plays while making a greater impact on each game than any player in the league. Her 30.7 usage percentage ranks second, while her Player Impact Estimate (PIE) of 25.1 is tops in the league.

In just seven-plus seasons Charles has already established herself as an all-time great in the league, ranking 37th with 3,530 points, 17th with 2,077 rebounds, and 22nd with 249 blocks.