Stewart, Lavender earn awards
NEW YORK >> Seattle's Breanna Stewart is the WNBA rookie of the year.
The league announced Thursday that Stewart received 38 of the 39 votes from a national media panel. San Antonio's Moriah Jefferson got the other vote.
"It's a tremendous honor to be able to come into the league and make a big impact like I did in my rookie season," Stewart said. "It's all you can ask for."
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Connecticut, Stewart averaged 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, becoming the sixth player in league history to reach those averages in the same season. She helped the Seattle Storm advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
"What I want to do next is build Seattle and help the Storm get better," Stewart said. "We got to the playoffs this year and we want to get back there and get better; we're trying to win championships here, too."
It's the first time in the league's 20-year history the same team had back-to-back winners. Seattle's Jewell Loyd was the rookie of the year in 2015.
The 6-foot-4 Stewart scored in double figures 31 times and had 12 double-doubles. She had a season-high 38 points in a win against Atlanta on July 10. She swept the league's rookie of the month honors this season.
Los Angeles Sparks center Jantel Lavender has won the WNBA's sixth woman award.
The league announced Wednesday that Lavender received 26 of the 39 votes from a national media panel.
She averaged 9.6 points and shot a career-high 53.8 percent from the field to help the Sparks secure the second best record in the league.
Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley, the winner of award the past two seasons, and Dallas Wings guard Aerial Powers finished tied for second place with three votes each.
To be eligible for the award, a player must come off the bench in more games than she started.
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