Two straight titles for Tamika Catchings
NEW YORK -- Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has been named the WNBA's defensive player of the year for the second straight year and fourth time overall.
Catchings received 30 of 39 votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters. She beat out Chicago's Sylvia Fowles (seven votes), Minnesota's Nicky Anosike (one) and Connecticut rookie Tina Charles (one).
Catchings, the first to receive the award four times, also won in 2005 and 2006.
The Fever host New York in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday night. They trail 1-0 in the best-of-three series.
Catchings led the WNBA in steals (2.26 spg) for a record sixth time, helping the Fever finish fifth in scoring defense (78.3 points per game allowed). She was seventh in total defensive rebounds (185) and tied for 10th in blocked shots (30).
Her 77 steals this season raised her career total to 708 and moved her ahead of Sheryl Swoopes and into second place on the WNBA's all-time list, behind only Los Angeles' Ticha Penicheiro (728).
Catchings, a six-time All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, was also fifth in the league in scoring (18.2 ppg) this season.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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