Cash leads West to 130-118 win in WNBA All-Star game
VIN A. CHERWOO | 7/26/2009, 7:15 p.m.
Mystics Alana Beard led East scoring with 12 points
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Swin Cash and Nicole Powell helped the Western Conference get back on the winning track at the WNBA All-Star game. Cash set an All-Star game record with 22 points, Powell had 21, and the West beat the East 130-118 on Saturday. Diana Taurasi had 18 points, and Sue Bird added 16 in the league's highest-scoring All-Star game.
Cash, who starred at nearby UConn along with Taurasi and Bird, was selected the game's MVP after shooting 10 for 16 from the field and adding six rebounds and four assists.
"We always wanted to win from the start," Cash said after receiving the award at midcourt. "I came here to have a lot of fun, play really hard."
Sylvia Fowles scored 17 points, Jia Perkins had 16, and Alana Beard 14 for the East. Shameka Christon, Erika DeSouza and Candice Dupree added 12 each. The West, which won the first six midseason contests before losing the last two, shot 52 percent, including 18 for 39 (46 percent) on 3-pointers.
Fowles had a crowd-pleasing dunk with 15 seconds left. The teams cleared the way for her with about 30 seconds to go but she missed her first attempt. The score was close until the final minute of the third quarter when the West began to pull away. Cash made two free throws, Charde Houston - another former UConn star - added two more and Bird hit a 3-pointer in a 34-second span for a 99-92 lead.
Sophia Young had a jumper, and Houston made a driving layup in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to stretch the West's advantage to 103-93.
Dupree hit a 3, and Beard had a layup to pull the East to 105-100 with 7:51 to go, but that was as close as it got.
Powell, a late roster addition in place of the injured Lisa Leslie, made consecutive 3s to push the West's lead to 113-102 with 4:10 left. After DeSouza's layup pulled the East within eight 34 seconds later, Cash had a layup with 3:15 left to restore the West's double-digit lead for good. The margin grew to 14 twice in the final minutes.
Leslie (2001), Tina Thompson (2002) and Deanna Nolan (2005) shared the previous All-Star game record of 20 points.
Both teams had their highest-scoring outputs, combining to break the record set in the West's 122-99 victory in 2005 - also at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The East's previous high was 103 points in 2007.
Cash scored 14 points in the first half to help the West take a 63-60 lead at the break. Beard led the East with 12.