Aussies in WNBA: Penny Taylor leads Mercury in the playoffs

Penny Taylor and the Phoenix Mercury stormed into the WNBA semifinals following a miraculous win over New York and Bec Allen.

The Mercury are now locked in a 5-game semifinal series against the Minnesota Lynx, having dropped the opening two matches, with all remaining games now must-wins if the Mercury want to send off Taylor with a Championship.

Taylor fought hard particularly in Game 2 of the series, with 16 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists, leaving absolutely nothing in the tank. Her team now has a monumental task of not dropping a game against the formidable Maya Moore and her Lynx.

Taylor's highlights didn't stop their either:

After a solid win over Seattle, the Atlanta Dream's Championship hopes were shattered by the Chicago Sky. Courtney Vandersloot gave Atlanta an absolute hiding, delivering 21 points, 13 assists and 4 steals for the Sky. Jessica Breland was also superb with a huge double-double of 20 points and 16 rebounds, complemented by her 3 steals.

Chicago's first game against Los Angeles didn't go to plan, with the Sparks dominating them by 20 points. The usual suspects for LA were in force, with Candace Parker dropping 30 points with 9 rebounds, while Nneka Ogwumike added 27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in a stellar performance.

It will be a tough task for both Phoenix and Chicago to bounce back from these early losses and combat the teams who have been at the top of the table all season.

Check out all the action from Game 1 here:

MVP and Rookie of the Year named

Nneka Ogwumike of the LA Sparks has been named the 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player.

Ogwumike absolutely blitzed this season, setting records left, right and centre! She set an all-time record for field shooting percentage with an incredible 66.5%. The forward also set records for consecutive field goals made when she hit 18, and most field goals in a game without a miss with 12. She finished the season on an average of 19.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, also recording the second most double-doubles with 18.

Ogwumike is explosive, strong and extremely efficient every time she fronts up on the court, no doubt she has been one of the main reasons behind the Sparks phenomenal season.

Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm was named the 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year after a breakout year.

Stewart was top of the table for all rookies with an average 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. She reached double figures 31 times and recorded 12 double-doubles. It's no secret the Storm have an absolute weapon in Stewart, who now has joined an elite list of names who were previously honoured with the award, like Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker and Maya Moore.