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UConn in the WNBA: Huskies playing key roles down the stretch

Gabby Williams and Morgan Tuck are making important contributions as playoff race heats up.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

With less than a month left in the WNBA regular season, the playoff and end-of-season awards race is heating up. Here’s how the former Huskies in the league are faring.

Napheesa Collier’s numbers should make her the front runner for Rookie of the Year

Since 2000, all but three but Rookies of the Year have led their peers in win shares. Napheesa Collier’s incredible rookie season should have her in front of that race. Collier is firmly at the top of her rookie class with 3.1, which also ranks 11th in the league overall. She tops the rookies in both offensive and defensive win shares. Additionally, Collier ranks among the top three rookies in virtually stat category. Based on her numbers, Collier should still be considered the favorite for Rookie of the Year despite the competition heating up.

Gabby Williams stepping into important role for the Sky during final playoff push

The Chicago Sky sit in fifth place in the league standings and, barring any crazy events to wrap up the season, should secure a spot in the playoffs. However, there are just three games separating the teams jockeying for the fifth through eighth seeds. With an injury to Chicago starter Jantel Lavender, Gabby Williams has stepped into the starting lineup. In her start against the Sparks, Williams played 36 minutes, contributing 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists for the Sky. She’ll be a key piece for the Sky as they look to get the highest seed possible.

Morgan Tuck contributing off the bench for title contenders

In a season with so many former UConn greats sidelined with injury, across the top four teams in the league and the favorites to contend for the title, there’s just one UConn alumna on the roster. Morgan Tuck is playing important minutes for the Connecticut Sun off the bench. In her ten minutes per game, she is averaging 3.4 points and 1.5 rebounds per contest. She provides a consistent scoring option for the Sun, shooting an impressive 41.6 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc on the season.