Uncasville, CT -- The Western Conference All-Stars pulled away when the game got serious and defeated the Eastern Conference All-Stars, 117-112 in front of more than eight thousand people at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Opportunity awaits WNBA in All-Star Game
The 2015 WNBA All-Star Game a great opportunity for many first-time players to showcase their talent. And on top of that, this weekend is also a great opportunity for the league as a whole.
Minnesota Lynx forward, and former Connecticut University player, Maya Moore was named the Most Valuable Player of the game. Moore scored an All-Star game record 30 points, and joins Lisa Leslie as the only players in league history to be regular season, Finals and All-Star Game MVPs.
Moore helped her team pull away by scoring ten straight points, including eight straight, in the finals two minutes to seal the win for the West.
"The last three minutes there was a timeout, and both huddles were probably saying the same thing: let's try to win this," Moore said. "I hit the and-1 jumper, and it was kind of the nail in the coffin. It was just fun, but the last few minutes were definitely trying to win."
The entire fourth quarter the game was close, as neither team trailed by more than four until the final minute. Brittney Griner scored 21 points, including a two-handed slam dunk that electrified the crowd in the third quarter. Griner and Moore each made ten field goals, which is just one shy of the All-Star game record held by Shoni Schimmel.
Connecticut Sun guard Alex Bentley put on a show in front of her home fans, scoring a team-high 23 points. Bentley says she has dreamed of days like today.
"I've been wanting to play basketball since I was five or six years old," Bentley said. "I used to go to Fever games, and want to be in their shoes, so it's pretty surreal for me to be able to play with the greats in the game. It's an incredible experience. I'm just very blessed and happy to be here."
Catchings knows the league is in good hands when she retires after the 2016 season.
"Im excited just for the future," Catchings said. "This game, everyone talked about passing on that torch. I think that we've progressed, and we've come a long way from the beginning. Not to say that the beginning wasn't a big deal for us, but as we've progressed, and we look at the future, today is an example of how good the WNBA will continue to be."