UNCASVILLE, Conn., July 9 (Ticker) -
Leading vote getter
let everyone know that the balance of power still lies
in the Western Conference.
Swoopes had 15 points, four rebounds and two assists as the
Western Conference won its sixth straight WNBA All-Star Game
with a 122-99 victory over the Eastern Conference.
The leading scorer for the Houston Comets, Swoopes made 6-of-13
shots and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Swoopes did most of her damage in the first half, scoring 11
points to help the West take a 52-43 lead.
A 3-pointer by Lauren Jackson
of the Seattle Storm gave the West
a 57-43 lead just over a minute into the second half, but the
East pulled within 74-66 on a three-point play by Connecticut's
with 13:04 remaining.
The West responded with an 18-4 run over the next five minutes
to all but seal the victory. Katie Smith
of the Minnesota Lynx
started the spurt with consecutive 3-pointers and Los Angeles
Sparks teammates Lisa Leslie
and Chamique Holdsclaw
score 10 of the West's next 12 points, making it 92-70.
With the game decided in the final minute, Detoit's Deanna Nolan
attempted a slam dunk, but missed with 28 seconds on the clock.
Making her sixth All-Star appearance, Leslie converted an
uncontested dunk on the other end and Nolan once again missed
with 11 seconds to play.
Nolan had one last chance to dunk at the buzzer, but opted
instead for a long 3-pointer that missed.
A basket by New York's Ann Wauters
with just over five minutes
left in the first half forged a 36-36 tie, before Swoopes hit a
jumper to ignite a 13-2 run that gave the West a 49-38 edge with
1:31 on the clock.
The East drew within 49-43 on Nolan's 3-pointer with 23 seconds
remaining, but Diana Taurasi
of Phoenix nailed a shot from the
arc 13 seconds later to make it 52-43 at the break.
Nolan finished with 20 points for the East, which shot 40
Washington's Alana Beard
, who guaranteed an East victory,
finished with two points on 1-of-9 shooting