It wasn’t a typical all-star game, with both teams playing hard on both sides of the pitch the entire game. Usually there isn’t much defense played until the end of the fourth quarter.
The WNBA team were leading 75-73 midway through the fourth quarter before Ogunbowale had a four-point play to extend the advantage to six. The Olympic team closed 83-78 before Ogunbowale, who won MVP honors for the match, hit another 3 points and pose in front of the crowd, which included many current and former players and team owners from the WNBA.
The Olympic team reduced their deficit to 91-85 and had a chance to come close, but Courtney Williams blocked A’ja Wilson’s shot with 1:15 to go and they couldn’t come close.
The Olympic team is a big favorite to win a seventh consecutive gold medal at the Tokyo Games. No team they will face is as talented as the WNBA All-Star team they faced. Yet like the United States Men’s Olympic Team, which have lost back-to-back exhibition matches to Nigeria and Australia, an American loss is rare.
The US team has won 49 consecutive Olympic competitions since 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 selected WNBA teams.
Both teams were missing a player. Diana Taurasi suffered a hip injury in training a few weeks ago and missed the last three games before the Olympic break for the Mercury. She was warming up before the game, but did not play.
Liz Cambage was also in uniform but did not play. She is part of the Australian Olympic team and the Opals faced Nigeria in an exhibition competition on Tuesday. They play in the United States on Friday.
The US Olympic team took an 11-4 lead, and WNBA team coaches Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson called for a quick time-out – another rarity in an all-star game. After this early start, neither team was able to build a lead of more than a few points in the first half. The WNBA All-Stars were leading 44-43 at halftime.
At the start of the second half, Candace Parker, who was excluded from the 2016 Olympic squad after winning two gold medals with the United States, stole the ball from Brittney Griner and scored a lay- easy up that gave the WNBA All-Stars a 53-48 lead – – their biggest in the game.
The game was tied at 66 after three quarters.
Allie Quigley won the 3-point shootout for the third time, beating 6-foot-6 Jonquel Jones in the final. Quigley has hit nine of his last 10 shots, including all five from the wing on his “money ball” rack. Each of them was worth two points. Quigley, who also won the title in 2017 and 2018, received a hug from his wife and Chicago Sky teammate Courtney Vandersloot after the victory.
Quigley said it would be the last time she would enter the contest, which drew boos from fans.
The WNBA will donate $ 10,000 to the Patrick Quigley Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of his father.
Sami Whitcomb and Jewell Loyd shot well, but failed to advance to the final.
HONORING THE PAST:
The WNBA honored the 1996 US Olympic team which kicked off the Americans’ six-consecutive gold medal streak. The current US Olympic team presented flowers to their predecessors, while the 1996 team gave personal notes of encouragement to the current team.
PREPARE FOR TOKYO
The United States have exhibition matches later this week against Australia and Nigeria.