The Indiana Fever were well represented as the best of the best in women’s basketball took to the court in Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday afternoon for the 2015 WNBA All-Star Game.
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Indiana’s Tamika Catchings made her WNBA record 10th appearance as an All-Star, nine of which were as a starter. Indiana’s leading scorer and rebounder received high honors from her fellow All-Stars, getting the final pregame player introduction which she capped off with a jovial chalk toss.
Catchings was joined by Fever teammate Marissa Coleman on the Eastern Conference roster. The seven year veteran was one of 10 players to make their All-Star debut in this game.
“I get to play with great players and it’s pretty special to be here with my teammate Tamika Catchings, especially with this being her last All-Star Game. I’m just going to try to soak up the entire experience.”
It was another classic battle of East vs West, complete with run-and-gun play, dazzling passes, flashy fineshes, and plenty of good spirited competition. The East came out hot, taking a 12-point advantage into the second quarter behind an early nine from Shoni Schimmel. The Atlanta guard would continue to dazzle the crowd throughout the game with her signature “showtime” flavor.
The West would battle back in the second period, finishing the first half on a 17-7 run to cut the East’s lead to a single point heading into the intermission. The tight halftime score would ignite a competitive second half of play.
The conferences swapped leads throughout the final two quarters with a flurry of long range bombs, setting a record with 81 three-point shot attempts. Phoenix’s towering Brittney Griner did not disappoint when she threw down a two-handed slam with under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter and followed it up with a triple of her own on the very next possession.
In the end it was Minnesota Lynx’s Maya Moore that proved, once again, why she is the league’s reigning MVP. Moore scored an All-Star game record 30 points, with 10 of them coming in the final minutes of the game to lead the West to 117-112 victory. Moore took home her first All-Star game MVP for her performance.
Alex Bentley of the Connecticut Sun, an Indianapolis native and one-time Indiana Fever intern, led the East in scoring with 23, followed by this season’s leading scorer, Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne, who put up 16 points in 17 minutes.
Coleman played 18 minutes on Saturday, connecting on a pair of three-pointers for six points. Catchings didn’t take it easy in her final All-Star game appearance, filling up the box score with eight points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. The Fever legend became the leader for total All-Star Game points when she finished an alley-oop from Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry in the second quarter.
When asked about her legacy in the All-Star Games Catchings stated, “I love playing with a lot of the players that I never get an opportunity to play with. My legacy here is my passion. I love to smile and I love to have fun.”