WNBA Aussie snapshot

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Half-way through the 2015 WNBA season, we check in with the Australian representatives from Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm and Los Angeles Sparks.

PHOENIX MERCURY: 11-7, second in Western Conference

From a 3-4 start to the season, Phoenix are starting to assert themselves with eight wins from their past ten games while they own an equal-second best 7-2 home record. In a recent clash with Chicago Sky, a team that boasts the expected MVP Elena Delle Donne, Phoenix came from 19 points down to win by two in overtime.

Leilani Mitchell- Despite her point production dropping off slightly since the start of the season, Mitchell still leads the league in three-point shooting (48%) with 3.5 attempts per game. That reduction in scoring could be attributed to her assist numbers increasing as she now sits second for the Mercury with 2.9 a game after collecting 4+ assists in five of her past eight matches. Mitchell is the only Australian to have started every game of the 2015 season.

Cayla Francis- Averaging the fourth least amount of court time for the Mercury, Francis is still making her mark on the stat-sheet with points in 16 out of 17 games this season. She is shooting 49% from the field and helped sweep a double-header against Seattle with eight points and five rebounds on July 10 before recording five points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals two days later.

SEATTLE STORM: 5-14, fifth in Western Conference

Two consecutive losses to Seattle and two straight wins to San Antonio has dropped the Storm out of a playoff position. Getting back into a top four spot may be difficult in the short term as they put their 1-9 road record on the line with their next five games away from home.

Abby Bishop- Leading her side in blocks with one a game, Bishop turned in her best performance to date on July 29 with 17 points, five rebounds and a block against Washington. She is also nailing a three-pointer per match while shooting at 35%, the best mark for the club.

Jenna O’Hea- Having started 13 games and averaging the fifth most amount of minutes, O’Hea sits second in the team for average assists (2.4) while recording less than a turnover per game. She will be feeling positive about her move to Seattle this year as they are 3-0 when facing her old side, the LA Sparks.

LOS ANGELES SPARKS: 3-14, sixth in Western Conference

All three of Los Angeles’ victories have come in their past ten games but they are still one of two teams remaining in the league not to win on the road. They do average 72 points at home, proving their offensive capabilities, but sitting 2.5 games outside the top four is becoming a concern as we enter the second half of the season.

Erin Phillips- Returning from a knee injury, Phillips collected a season-high 20 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists in a close loss to Phoenix on July 5. Her 85% free-throw shooting is a testament to her shooting stroke but perhaps as a result of injury interruptions, she has hit just 29% from the field. Phillips has balanced that with 3.1 assists a game though.

Mariana Tolo- Hitting the scoreboard in 16 of her 17 matches, Tolo has settled in to her WNBL role nicely. In a surprise win over the Mercury on July 21, she recorded eight points, four rebounds, an assist, a steal and an impressive four blocks. Averaging six points a contest, Tolo’s numbers increase to nine when Los Angeles win.