Former UConn Great W Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx has been named the 2014 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Samsung, the WNBA announced today. Moore received 371 points (including 35 first-place votes) from a national panel of 38 sportswriters and broadcasters. The UConn product and two-time WNBA champion finished as the runner-up to Candace Parker in MVP voting a year ago and finished fourth behind winner Tina Charles in 2012. Former UConn Great Phoenix Mercury G Diana Taurasi finished second in the voting with 242 points (two first-place votes) and Atlanta Dream W Angel McCoughtry finished third with 112 points. Rounding out the top five vote-getters were Los Angeles Sparks F Candace Parker (91 points) and Mercury C Brittney Griner (67 points, one first-place vote), who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
This season, Moore guided the Lynx to a 25-9 record and the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed for the playoffs, despite the club being without injured All-Stars Rebekkah Brunson and Seimone Augustus for 23 and nine games, respectively. For the regular season, Moore played in all 34 games and paced the league in scoring (23.9 ppg), the third-highest average in WNBA history behind the 25.3 ppg and 24.1 ppg by Diana Taurasi in 2006 and 2008, respectively. The WNBA’s top draft pick in 2011, Moore opened the 2014 season by scoring 135 points over her first four outings, marking the most prolific four-game scoring stretch in WNBA history. With that effort, the fourth-year pro became the first player in league history to post four consecutive games of 30 or more points after pouring in 34 points at Washington; 33 vs. Connecticut; a then-career-high 38 at Tulsa; and 30 vs. New York. She went on to finish the regular season with a league-record 12 games of 30-plus points, topping the previous mark of 10 set by Diana Taurasi in 2008. Moore had perhaps her best outing of the season in a 112-108 double-overtime win over the visiting Atlanta Dream on July 22. In the victory, Moore tallied a career-high 48 points, marking the second-highest single-game total in WNBA history. Four games later, in a 84-75 victory at Tulsa on Aug. 2, Moore posted 40 points to break the league record for the most 30-point games in a single season.
Moore also finished the season ranked atop the WNBA in made field goals (295) and was second in minutes (34.7 mpg) and free throws made (160). Moore placed eighth in rebounding (8.1 rpg), tied for third in three-point field goals made (62), fourth in free throw percentage (.884, 160-of-181), tied for fourth in steals (1.88 spg), sixth in double-doubles (10), and 20th in assists (3.4 apg). In addition to leading her club in scoring, Moore placed second on the Lynx in rebounding and assists, and third in blocks (0.82 bpg). Moore earned two of the four Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Samsung awards and was named the conference’s Player of the Week five times, becoming the first player in league history to win Player of the Week honors in four consecutive weeks. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for third, three for fourth and one for each fifth-place vote received. In honor of being named the WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Samsung, Moore will receive $15,000 and a specially-designed trophy.