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Former Lady Monarchs, Penicheiro and Maiga, Head To WNBA Finals

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: September 13, 2005
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Sept. 13, 2005

Courtsey of WNBA.com

SCHEDULE
Gm 1: at Conn, Weds., 9/14, 8 p.m. ET. ESPN2
Gm 2: at Conn., Thurs., 9/15, 8 p.m. ET. ESPN2
Gm 3: at Sac., Sun., 9/18, 4 p.m. ET. ABC
Gm 4*: at Sac., Tues., 9/20, TBD p.m. ET. ESPN2
Gm 5*: at Conn., Thurs., 9/22, 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN2

For the third straight year, the WNBA will crown a new champion. The Connecticut Sun were just one shot away from winning last year's Finals while the Sacramento Monarchs make their first ever appearance in the championship series. The two teams were the most consistent, most dominant teams in the WNBA this season and went down to the final week to determine just who would have the best record.

The Sacramento Monarchs have won their first Conference Finals series in four attempts. Perhaps fueled by another loss in the Western Conference Finals last year, the Sacramento Monarchs got out to an early lead in the Western Conference standings in 2005 and never looked back. They went on to win their first-ever regular season conference crown. Led once again by Yolanda Griffith and point guard Ticha Penicheiro, the all-time leading assist-scoring duo in league history, the Monarchs challenged for the best overall record in the league until the last weekend of the season. This is a team that stresses team defense and finished with a league-low 61.8 points allowed. An injury to All-Star forward DeMya Walker and Penicheiro in the early rounds of the Playoffs posed some challenges, but both are back and ready to contend for a championship.

For the first time in history, the WNBA Finals will be a Best-of-Five series, with the Sun hosting games 1, 2 and 5, if necessary.

A Closer Look At Ticha Penicheiro: Tied her career-high and a WNBA record of 16 assists in a game versus Los Angeles
All-WNBA Second Team (2002, 2001)
WNBA Cascade Dish & Assist Award (2003)
Holds WNBA record for most steals with 10 in a game (2003)
1999 All-WNBA First Team
Third in Rookie of the Year balloting in 1998
Led WNBA in assists per game (2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998)
Dished out over 1,000 career-assists
Four-time WNBA All-Star
Ranks #7 in the WNBA in Assists Per Game (4.4)
Ranks #14 in the WNBA in Steals Per Game (1.4)
Ranks #6 in the WNBA in Assists (149.0)
Ranks #11 in the WNBA in Steals(48.0)
Ranks #2 in the WNBA in Assists Per Turnover (2.2)
Ranks #16 in the WNBA in Steals Per Turnover (0.7)
Ranks #5 in the WNBA in Assists Per 40 Minutes (6.4)
Ranks #13 in the WNBA in Steals Per 40 Minutes (2.1)

A Closer Look At Hamchetou "Tanty" Maiga:
2004: 2.8 ppg (.388 FG%, --- 3FG%, .481 FT%), 1.8 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg and 11.0 mpg in 79 games and three seasons with Sacramento
2003: Averaged 1.9 ppg, (.327 FG%, --- 3FG%, .400 FT%), 1.7 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg and 8.6 mpg in 22 games
Stole the ball a career-high four times vs. Seattle (7/26)
Scored a season-high six points at San Antonio (8/7)
PLAYOFFS: Averaged 0.5 ppg, (.333 FG%, ---3FG%, --- FT%) 0.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, --- spg, --- bpg and 3.8 mpg in four playoff games
2002: Averaged 1.7 ppg (.245 FG%, --- 3PT%, .467 FT%), 1.6 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.1 bpg and 8.6 mpg in 23 games (three started)
Tallied a season-high six points, pulled down a career-high seven rebounds at Houston (6/9)
Ranks #18 in the WNBA in Offensive Rebounds Per 40 Minutes (3.0)
Ranks #7 in the WNBA in Steals Per 40 Minutes (2.4)
Ranks #4 in the WNBA in Turnovers Per 40 Minutes (4.1)

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