NEW YORK (AP) _ Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles is the
WNBA’s Most Valuable Player, easily topping Los Angeles forward
Candace Parker in voting for the honor.

Charles celebrated her first WNBA MVP award with 17 points and four blocks, powering the Sun to a 65-60 victory over the New York Liberty in their playoff opener on Thursday night.

Charles received 25 first-place votes and 345 points overall
from a panel of 41 sports writers and broadcasters, the league said
Thursday. Parker had seven first-place votes and 253 points, and
Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings _ last season’s winner _ was
third with 210.

In her third season, all with the Sun, Charles won her first MVP
award after finishing second last year. She was the WNBA Rookie of
the Year in 2010.

Charles won her third straight rebounding title at 10.5 per
game. She also set the Sun’s single-season scoring record with an
average of 18 points and helped guide Connecticut (25-9) to the top
playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Two Sun guards also were recognized by the league before
Connecticut hosted a playoff game against New York on Thursday.
Renee Montgomery is the WNBA’s Sixth Woman Of the Year after
averaging 11.6 points and Kara Lawson received the Kim Perrot
Sportsmanship Award.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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