WNBA

Ogunbowale Leads WNBA All-Stars Over US Olympic Team 93-85

Jul 15, 2021, 9:22 AM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale put on a show against the U.S. national team, handing the Olympic squad a rare loss.

The game’s MVP scored 26 points to help the WNBA All-Star team beat the U.S. Olympic team 93-85 on Wednesday night.

Ogunbowale downplayed that she was trying to make a statement for not making the team headed to Tokyo next week.

“I think that shows that out of 144 players everybody’s good,” she said. “We wanted to get Team USA ready for Tokyo. They are representing all of us.”

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

“It was really competitive,” said 12-time All-Star Sue Bird. “Definitely not a typical All-Star game. Usually talk to players about trying to put on a good show and having a good time and hopefully the fans enjoy it. This, right from the tip, felt different. It had an intensity about it you could tell.”

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 hit another 3-pointer and posed for 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 A’ja 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’ll meet has nearly as much talent as the WNBA All-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 to that point.

The game was tied at 66 after three quarters.

“The All-Star Game has a label where it’s a lot of offense and no defense,” Stewart said. “This was a game of All-Stars.”

3-POINT SHOOTOUT

Allie Quigley 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.

Quigley said that it would be the last time she competed in the contest, which drew boos from the fans.

The WNBA will donate $10,000 to the Patrick Quigley Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of her dad.

Sami Whitcomb and Jewell Loyd shot well, but couldn’t advance to the finals.

HONORING THE PAST:

The WNBA honored the 1996 U.S. Olympic team that started off the run of six consecutive gold medals that the Americans have won. The current U.S. Olympic team presented their predecessors with flowers, while the 1996 team gave personal notes of encouragement to the current squad.

GETTING READY FOR TOKYO

The U.S. has exhibition games later this week against Australia and Nigeria.

WNBA

Amanda-Zahui-B-Los-Angeles-Sparks-WNBA...
Mark Anderson, AP

Las Vegas Aces Trade Center To Washington Mystics For 2nd-Round Picks

The Las Vegas Aces traded recently acquired 6-foot-5 center Amanda Zahui B. to Washington for second-round draft picks in 2024 and 2025.
4 days ago
Candace-Parker-Chicago-Sky-WNBA...
Mark Anderson, AP

WNBA Star Candace Parker To Sign With Las Vegas Aces

Former MVP Candace Parker announced on social media Saturday that she would sign with the defending champion Las Vegas Aces.
12 days ago
Las-Vegas-Aces-WNBA-Champions...
MARK ANDERSON and JOE REEDY AP Sports Writers

WNBA’s Hamby Accuses Aces Of Bullying, Manipulation

The WNBA players’ union says it will review Dearica Hamby’s complaints about Las Vegas management after the Aces traded the two-time All-Star to the Los Angeles Sparks.
19 days ago
Brittney-Griner-WNBA-Plane-Home...
Seung Min Kim, AP

‘I Want To Talk’: Griner Opened Up During Her Long Trip Home

WNBA star Brittney Griner didn’t want any alone time as soon as she boarded a U.S. government plane that would bring her home.
2 months ago
Britney Griner - Phoenix Mercury...
ERIC TUCKER, MATTHEW LEE and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

WNBA Star Griner Freed In Swap For Russian Arms Dealer Bout

Russia freed WNBA star Brittney Griner on Thursday in a prisoner exchange, as the U.S. released notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
2 months ago
Brittney Griner, WNBA, Russia, Phoenix Mercury...
Associated Press

Russian Court Rejects Griner Appeal Of Her 9-Year Sentence

A Russian court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner of her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession, a step that could move her closer to a possible high-stakes prisoner swap between Moscow and Washington.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Ogunbowale Leads WNBA All-Stars Over US Olympic Team 93-85