NEW YORK, July 12 (Ticker) --Katie Douglas
of the Connecticut Sun helped end a dubious slump for the Eastern Conference.
Douglas scored 16 points en route to being named the game's MVP
as the East ran away with its first win in the seventh
WNBA All-Star Game with a 98-82 victory over the heavily-favored
NBA TV highlights from |
WNBA All-Star Game:
Similar to the league championship, the West had dominated this
event, winning each of the first six games by an average of 12.5
However, the Shock, the lone Eastern Conference club over the
first nine seasons to win a league title in 2003, once again had
a hand in breaking the West's control. Detroit's Katie Smith
scored 14 and Cheryl Ford
Acquiring Smith in a trade from the Minnesota Lynx to bolster
their squad for a playoff run last season, Detroit ended the
2005 campaign with a starting five of All-Stars.
The Shock were unable to accomplish that feat with all five
players in uniform this season as both center Ruth Riley
forward Swin Cash
were passed over. Those that did attend,
including guard Deanna Nolan
, made a huge impact.
Smith ignited a decisive 16-4 run that closed the second quarter
with a jumper and had five points during the spurt. Ford, the
daughter of NBA great Karl Malone, had three layups during the
burst as the East took a 49-40 advantage at the half.
"Our defense played well especially in the second quarter and
they weren't expecting it," Ford said. "We shocked them."
"It's great when you win," said Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault
, who guided the East. "The East took the game serious
and it was defense and running that won this game for us
tonight. Everybody on the East played unselfishly."
Smith proved to be a pivotal player for the East breaking
though, going 6-0 with the West in her previous All-Star
"If we want to win this game, you have to do the little things,"
she said. "Both conferences have talent and I hope the fans
The momentum stayed with the East following the break as Ford
had another layup and converted a three-point play off an inbounds
pass to make it 56-42 with 8:30 left in the third.
"We pushed the ball and played a little defense and we wanted to
win," Smith said. "The West must have been tired these past
couple of days (due to practice)."
"We lost the game in the third quarter," said Sacramento
Monarchs coach John Whisenant
, who guided the West. "We went
into the half thinking about making a run, but they came out on
fire to start the third. We could never recover from that.
Anytime you have four Connecticut players on the court it was
Douglas added a layup as the East completed a
15-2 run to pull ahead 66-46 on a pair of free throws by Nolan
with 4:43 left in the third.
While the Shock fell short in full representation, the Sun did
have all of their starters selected for the game, but Nykesha Sales
did not play due to injury. Douglas, Lindsay Whalen
all started for the East.
Whalen scored 10 points, handed out six assists and grabbed five
rebounds. Dydek, the WNBA's all-time leading shot blocker,
pulled down nine rebounds and blocked four shots. Fellow
teammate Taj McWilliams-Franklin
came off the bench to collect
10 points and six rebounds.
Douglas, who scored 11 points in the first quarter, credited the
presence of her teammates for helping her win MVP honors.
"For me, individually, it was a great feeling and having Lindsay
Whalen out there was a benefit," Douglas said. "She knew where
to find me and she knew my spots. It felt like practice. It's
a great honor for the Connecticut Sun to have four out of five
players. Nykesha wasn't playing, but it was a lot of fun when
we were out there."
The East led by as many as 27 points before finishing with its
second highest point total in the event.
Minnesota rookie Seimone Augustus
was the lone player in double
figures for the West with 16 points. The West shot just 36
percent (32-of-89) and was outrebounded by a 50-45 margin.
A three-time MVP in this event, Lisa Leslie
of the Los Angeles
Sparks scored nine points, along with Diana Taurasi
Phoenix Mercury and the Seattle Storm's Sue Bird
shooting struggles. The trio combined to make 10-of-29 attempts
from the field.
Last year's MVP Sheryl Swoopes
of the Houston Comets also
struggled with her shooting, making 2-of-8 shots to finish with
six points. She did not record her first basket until a
3-pointer with 7:14 left in the fourth.
"I don't think I was looking for my shot," Swoopes said. "It's
an All-Star game and we are all All-Stars. Everybody wants to
score. We have 10-11 players on this team that are capable of
Along with being without Sales, the East played without two
other starters as Tamika Catchings
of the Indiana Fever and
of the New York Liberty were sidelined with