National team delivers a rout
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Sylvia Fowles scored 13 of her 23 points in the third quarter and the US national team beat the WNBA All-Stars, 99-72, yesterday in this year’s version of the league’s midseason showcase.
Candice Dupree and Swin Cash had 13 points apiece, UConn senior Maya Moore added 12, and Angel McCoughtry 11 for the US. Fowles shot 9 for 11 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds, earning the game’s MVP award.
“Syl did a great job,’’ US and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird said. “She’s such a dominant player, you saw it. She can get every rebound if she wants. She can score 20 points a night if she wants. It’s a matter if she wants to that night. That’s what we’re trying to do, that’s what coach [Geno] Auriemma is trying to do, trying to get her to be like that every game.’’
Katie Douglas had 15 points, Penny Taylor scored 12, and Sophia Young added 10 for the All-Stars.
Fowles was dominant over the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half, shooting 5 for 6 from the field, 3 for 4 from the free throw line, and grabbing five rebounds. The Chicago Sky center converted a layup with 3:38 to go in the third to make it 68-37, the US’s biggest lead.
The All-Stars tried to make a run in the fourth quarter. Young scored 6 points, Taylor had 5, and Lindsay Whalen 4 as the WNBA used a 17-6 run to pull to 81-61 with 6:12 remaining. But that was as close as it got.
Moore, the first college player to appear in such a game, scored 6 points in the final 4 1/2 minutes as the US pulled away again.
She finished 6 for 13 from the field — taking the most shots on her team — and also had eight rebounds in 22 minutes.
“If you line up all our players and say, ‘Pick the one who’s in college,’ you would never figure it out,’’ Auriemma said. “She blends in. She plays like them. She handles herself like them.’’
UConn has seven former and current players at the national team’s four-day training camp to help prepare for the world championships in October. Six of them were on the roster to face the WNBA All-Stars.
This is the second time this format is being used. The first was in 2004 at the start of the league’s monthlong Olympic break.
The US shot 56 percent from the field (42 for 75), outrebounded the All-Stars, 39-30, and had 32 assists. The WNBA shot 37 percent (26 for 70) and finished with 11 assists.
“The fact we had 32 assists . . . is just an incredible number,’’ Auriemma said. “To be able to spread the ball around like that, share, make the extra pass, all the things you would want to see a team do.’’
Young made two free throws, Michelle Snow had a layup, and Monique Currie made one free throw to help the All-Stars close to 33-26 with 6:18 left in the second quarter.
The US then closed out the half with a 16-2 run.