AUBURN - Le'coe Willingham and the Seattle Storm overcame double-digit deficits twice in the past week to defeat two Eastern Conference foes to maintain the best record in the WNBA at 13-2.
With Wins over the Indiana Fever and the Tulsa Shock, Seattle pushed its winning streak to four games and increased its lead in the Western Conference to six games over the San Antonio Silver Stars. It is the third time that the Storm has won at least four consecutive games this season.
Seattle got the week off to a dramatic start with an 85-81 come from behind victory over Indiana. The Storm trailed 60-49 with 4:39 left in the third quarter before holding the Fever scoreless for the remainder of the quarter to cut the deficit to 60-58. Seattle took the lead for good with 1:57 left and held on for the win. In the win, Willingham contributed two points and four rebounds while also dishing out one assist and grabbing one steal.
The Storm had an even bigger hill to climb in their second game of the week. Seattle trailed Tulsa by as many as 13 points in the second half and by five points entering the fourth quarter, but used a 16-0 fourth quarter run to win 83-72 on the road Sunday. Willingham scored two points and secured two rebounds on the day.
The former Tiger standout has played in all 15 of Seattle's games and is averaging 4.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game this season.
Seattle will try to build on its lead in the western conference when it hosts the second-place San Antonio Silver Stars Tuesday at 9 p.m. CT before traveling to Los Angeles Saturday to face the Sparks in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. CT.
The Phoenix Mercury and DeWanna Bonner struggled last week, losing both of their games.
Phoenix began the week losing its second straight game to the Connecticut Sun, falling 82-79 Friday, despite DeWanna Bonner's third double-double of the season. The 2009 SEC Player of the Year finished the day with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Mercury's losing streak grew to four games with a 95-85 loss to the Washington Mystics Sunday. Bonner was her team's second-leading scorer and rebounder on the day totaling 16 points and six rebounds while also contributing two assists and two steals. It was the eighth game this season in which the Birmingham, Ala., native has scored in double figures.
Bonner is having a solid sophomore campaign ranking 32nd in the league in scoring at 11.4 points and 11th in rebounding, averaging 7.1 boards per game.
Phoenix will play three games this week against Eastern Conference foes. The week begins with a road game against the top team in the conference, the Atlanta Dream, Tuesday at 6 pm CT. The Mercury then returns home for two games to conclude the week, beginning with a game against the Washington Mystics at 9 p.m. CT, Thursday followed by a