Sylvia Fowles wins WNBA Defensive Player of the Year

Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx captured the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, the league revealed on Friday.

Fowles captured 19 of the 39 media votes to win the award for the third time in her career. She also won the honor in 2011 and 2013 while playing for the Chicago Sky.

“I am honored to receive the Defensive Player of Year award,” Fowles said. “This has been an amazing year not just for me but for my team as well, who I give credit to for this award. They push me every day to be great, and for that I’m grateful.”

Breanna Stewart finished second in the voting. The Seattle Storm rookie earned eight votes. Nneka Ogwumike finished third with four votes, while her Los Angeles Sparks teammate Alana Beard earned three votes, as did Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury.

Fowles finished fifth in the league in block percentage in 2016, seventh in defensive rebounding percentage, while her steal percentage of 2.4 percent ranked just outside the top ten.

“I’m equally thrilled and proud of Syl earning the 2016 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year honor,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Syl prides herself in her defense and it shows every time she steps on the floor. Her efforts have been integral to our overall success as a team this season.”

Fowles also served as the lynchpin of the Minnesota defense, which allowed just 98.2 points per 100 possessions, tops in the league.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx boxes out against Breanna Stewart #30 of the Seattle Storm on August 28, 2016 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 28: Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx boxes out against Breanna Stewart #30 of the Seattle Storm on August 28, 2016 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Fowles and the Lynx will take on the Phoenix Mercury 8 p.m. EST Friday night in Game 2 of the WNBA semifinals. The game can be seen on ESPN2.

Full vote totals for the award are below:

2016 WNBA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR VOTING RESULTS

 19 Sylvia Fowles Minnesota Lynx

8 Breanna Stewart Seattle Storm

4 Nneka Ogwumike Los Angeles Sparks

3 Alana Beard Los Angeles Sparks

3 Brittney Griner Phoenix Mercury

1 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever

1 Elena Delle Donne Chicago Sky

And these are the WNBA all-defensive first and second teams, as voted on by the league’s coaches.

2016 WNBA All-Defensive First Team

 

Player                         Team                                      Position                      Points

Alana Beard                Los Angeles Sparks               Guard                          55

Angel McCoughtry     Atlanta Dream                        Forward                       37

Nneka Ogwumike       Los Angeles Sparks               Forward                       37

Sylvia Fowles              Minnesota Lynx                      Center                         35

Briann January           Indiana Fever                          Guard                          34

 

2016 WNBA All-Defensive Second Team

 

Player                         Team                                      Position                      Points

Brittney Griner            Phoenix Mercury                    Center                         34

Tamika Catchings       Indiana Fever                          Forward                       33

Breanna Stewart         Seattle Storm                          Forward                       25

Tanisha Wright            New York Liberty                    Guard                          21

Jasmine Thomas        Connecticut Sun                     Guard                          15

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