South Carolina overcomes slow start to power past UConn
The two teams battled it out.
The WNBA season came to a close on Sunday as the Aces defeated the Sun in Game 4 to win their first championship in franchise history. That milestone brings us to naming our final team of the month.
For September, the roster is made up of players from Las Vegas and Connecticut whose performances kept their teams alive into the apex of the WNBA season.
There’s no team of the month without Finals MVP Chelsea Gray, who averaged 21.7 points, seven assists and 3.8 rebounds per game during the postseason. In September alone, she averaged 22.2 points per game, recording a double-double of 31 points and 10 assists in Game 4 of the semifinals against Seattle to propel the Aces into the Finals.
Throughout the playoffs, Gray made tough shot after tough shot, shooting 61.7 percent from the field and 66.7 percent on contested shots.
RIQUNA WILLIAMS STEP-BACK. CLUTCH 🥶 pic.twitter.com/BlVetsPxX7— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 18, 2022
Gray may be the Finals MVP, but the Aces wouldn’t have won Game 4 without Riquna Williams, who came off the bench to score 17 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the 3-point line. She made four of those 3-pointers during the fourth quarter, which made up nearly half of the Aces’ 25 points in the frame.
Her final two 3-pointers came in the last 1:39 of play. The first gave Las Vegas a two-point lead, and the second extended their advantage to four points with just 53 seconds to go.
The WNBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year continued her dominance in September, recording five double-doubles. She started the month with a 34-point and 11-rebound performance and followed it up with 23 points and 13 rebounds to help the Aces advance past the Storm in the semifinals.
Wilson ended the month averaging 20 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in the Finals. Wilson was on the court for nearly every big moment for the Aces, averaging 37.2 minutes per game during the postseason.
Connecticut’s floor leader made history in Game 3, becoming the first WNBA player to record a triple-double in the Finals when she finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists to help her team force a Game 4. Then she did it again in that game, recording 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a Herculean effort to try to keep the Sun’s season from ending.
While Thomas was making history, Jonquel Jones was fighting an intense battle with Wilson in the paint. During the Finals, the 2021 MVP averaged 16 points and 8.3 rebounds. She also kept the Sun alive in Game 4 with 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, both of which came against Wilson. And in the semifinals, Jones pushed her team past the Sky in Game 5, recording a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Kelsey Plum, G, Las Vegas Aces
Plum came alive in Game 2, exploiting the Sun defense with drives to the basket and scoring 20 points to give her team a 2-0 lead in the series. She had 15 points, three assists and three steals in Game 4 to help the Aces seal the championship.
DeWanna Bonner, G/F, Connecticut Sun
In Game 3 of the Finals, Bonner kept the Sun from being swept by using her length to defend Gray, who finished with 11 points but only scored two when Bonner was guarding her. She also recorded 18 points, six rebounds and five assists in that contest.
Breanna Stewart, F, Seattle Storm
Despite playing just two games in September, Breanna Stewart earns a second team nod because of her monster numbers. She had 20 points and 15 rebounds in Game 3 against the Aces, and then 42 points in Game 4 as she battled to keep her team alive in the series.
Jewell Loyd, G, Seattle Storm
Like Stewart, Jewell Loyd did everything she could for the Storm in a memorable semifinals series against the Aces. Loyd had 17 points in Game 3, and then 29 points in Game 4.
Kahleah Copper, G/F, Chicago Sky
The Sky played three games in September — one win and two losses against the Sun in the semifinals — and Copper was solid throughout, averaging 17.7 points per game.
Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.
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