By Megan Gauer
Two former UConn Huskies were named the WNBA players of the month for July this week. Tiffany Hayes, who plays for the Atlanta Dream, was named the Eastern Conference player of the month. The Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart earned the honor for the Western Conference.
Hayes was an instrumental part of the Dream’s success in July. Atlanta lost only two games during the month, which included an eight-game win streak that propelled them to second place in the league. For the month of July, Hayes averaged 17.6 points per game and shot 50.7 percent from the field, which ranked third and sixth in the conference, respectively. Her impressive month also included a half-court buzzer beater at Connecticut, to secure Atlanta’s fifth straight win.
For Stewart, the player of the month honor adds another accolade for the season. The former UConn star was also named a WNBA All-Star and has been tagged as a front runner for this year’s MVP award. Stewart averaged 22.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game in July, both of which ranked her second among all Western Conference players. On the season, her 22.6 points per game ranks first in the league. She also scored 30 or more points for the top-ranked Storm on three occasions during the month.
While no WNBA team has clinched a playoff berth to date, the Storm and the Dream sit on top of the league standings in the first week of play following the All-Star break. Stewart and Hayes will both play vital roles as their teams fight to secure a playoff spot, before the conclusion of the regular season on August 19th.