West takes All-Star game behind Maya Moore’s fourth quarter burst, 117-112
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – In a highly entertaining game capped by an exciting fourth quarter, the West defeated the East 117-112 in the WNBA All-Star game at Mohegan Sun Arena in front of 8,214 fans.
After trailing at the half, the West took a two point lead after three quarters, 93-91.
The fourth quarter started a little slowly as both coaches gave their reserves ample playing time.
Tamika Catchings, the oldest player in the game, showed she was not ready to lose this game, scoring five points in the first half of the quarter to even the score at 100 with just under five minutes to go.
Money time came, and the West returned starters Brittney Griner and Maya Moore to the lineup, while the West brought back Tina Charles and Angel McCoughtry. The intensity increased immediately, as McCoughtry and Charles stole balls that led to fast breaks for the East.
Kayla McBride continued her hot shooting, scoring five of her points to give the West a one point lead with 2:51 to go in the game.
After a Schimmel three, Moore took over. She scored eight in a row, and most of the West’s remaining points to give the West a seven point lead they would not relinquish.
Brittney Griner put a cap on the game with a goaltending call on the East’s final shot as the West rode Moore’s incredible 10 point fourth quarter to a 117-112 victory.
Griner finished with 21, and McBride 18 for the West. Bentley led the east with 23, followed by Delle Donne with 16, and Charles and Schimmel with 13.
For her 30-point performance Moore was named Most Valuable Player of the game. She broke the All-Star game scoring record set by Schimmel last year when the Dream guard finished with 29 points..
Recaps of the first three quarters
First quarter: East leads West 34-24 in All-Star game
The introductions to the WNBA All-Star game had a little bit of everything; spirited dance moves, oh, and water coming down from a leak in the ceiling. Once the game finally started after the “moisture delay,” both teams struggled offensively but behind a pair of Maya Moore threes and sone nice low post moves by Brittney Griner the West jumped out to a 16-14 lead at the first break.
Back and forth the teams went in an entertaining display of offense, highlighted by Connecticut’s Alex Bentley dishing out three assists in about three minutes of play and impressive 6-for-9 three point shooting, the East led after one 34-24.
Shoni Schimmel scored nine to lead the East and Moore had eight points for the West.
Second quarter: West comes back, trail the East 59-58
After jumping out to a ten-point first quarter lead, the Eastern conference All-Stars continued to ride the hot play of their bench players to hold onto a 45-38 lead at the first media break.
The hometown girl, Alex Bentley of the Connecticut Sun thrilled the crowd with an array of shots and passes, as both teams seemed to really enjoy themselves.
From there the West took over, cutting into the East lead immediately. Former Notre Dame star Kayla McBride of the San Antonio Stars showed she really still likes playing in the state of Connecticut, hitting from long range and on drives, scoring 13 points to lead the West.
Tina Charles of the New York Liberty missed her one three-point attempt, but did work inside, even getting a rare All-Star game “and one” foul on Griner. Charles finished the half with 13 points to lead the East.
Third quarter: Griner dunks and follows through on promise, West takes the lead
Griner promised a dunk, a block and a three-pointer before the game. It tool five minutes of play in the third quarter to achieve all three.
First she locked down Kelsey Bone at the top of the key, blocking the East center’s jump shot. Then came the fast break two-handed slam. Finally, she pulled up on the next possession and nailed a three-pointer as the West turned their halftime deficit into a three-point lead at media break.
Not content to let Griner steal the show, Moore showed her array of moves, scoring nine points in the quarter and pushing the pace for the Western conference at every opportunity.
When Plenette Pierson hit a three pointer in the face of Elena Delle Donne, the West had a 10-point lead.
The East would not give up though, and Bentley on her home court could not miss either, racking up 20 points. A beautiful behind the back pass from Schimmel to Stefanie Dolson followed a profiling layup by Schimmel. Delle Donne pulled up in the paint, and it was a tie game.
A late layup by Pierson gave the West a two point lead at the end of the quarter.
Griner led the West with 21 points and Moore had 20 after three, while Bentley’s 20 led the East.