Arike Ogunbowale scored 26 points and the WNBA Al-Star team beat the U.S. Olympic team 93-85 on Wednesday night in the league’s All-Star Game.

It wasn’t a typical AlI-Star Game, with the
two teams playing hard on both ends of
the court for the entire game. Usually there
isn’t much defense played until late in the
fourth quarter.

The WNBA team led 75-73 midway through
the fourth quarter before Ogunbowale had
a four-point play to extend the advantage
to six. The Olympic squad closed within
83-78 before Ogunbowale, who earned
MVP honors for the game, hit another 3-
pointer and posed to the crowd, which
included many current and former WNBA
players and team owners.

The Olympic team cut its deficit to 91-85
and had a chance to get closer, but
Courtney Williams blocked Aja Wilson’s
shot with 1:15 left and they could get no
closer.

The Olympic team is a heavy favorite to
win a seventh straight gold medal at the
Tokyo Games. No team they will face has
nearly as much talent as the WNBA AII-Star
team they faced.

Still, like the U.S. men’s Olympic team, which lost consecutive exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia, an American loss is rare
The U.S. squad has won 49 consecutive
Olympic contests dating to 1992.

Brittney Griner scored 17 points and
Breanna Stewart had 15 to lead the
Olympic team, which had been 3-0 in
previous games against WNBA select
Squads.

Both teams were missing a player. Diana
Taurasi suffered a hip injury in practice a
few weeks ago and missed the final three
games before the Olympic break for the
Mercury. She was warming up before the
game, but didn’t play.

Liz Cambage also was in uniform but didn’t
play. She is on Australia’s Olympic team
and the Opals played Nigeria in an
exhibition contest on Tuesday. They play
the U.S. on Friday.

The U.S. Olympic team jumped out to an
11-4 lead and Team WNBA coaches Lisa
Leslie and Tina Thompson called a quick
timeout- another rarity in an All-Star
Game. After that early burst, neither team
could build a lead of more than a few
points in the first half. The WNBA All-Stars
led 44-43 at the half.

Early in the second half, Candace Parker,
who was left off the 2016 Olympic team
after winning two gold medals with the
U.S., stole the ball from Brittney Griner and
scored an easy layup that gave the WNBA
All-Stars a 53-48 lead- their biggest of the
game.

The game was tied at 66 after three
quarters.

3-POINT SHOOTOUT

Allie Quigiley won the 3-point shootout for a
third time, beating 6-foot-6 Jonquel Jones
in the final. Quigley hit nine of her final 10
shots, including all five from the wing on
her “money ball” rack. Each of those was
worth two points. Quigley, who also won
the title in 2017 and 2018 got a hug from
her wife and Chicago Sky teammate
Courtney Vandersloot after the victory.