Recap: Women’s College All-Star Game

Written by on April 6, 2024

As the most-watched women’s college basketball season winds down, the All-Star Game was a great way to take a break from the intensity of the Final Four and relax with an exhibition game.

The two rosters, comprised of ten players each, were coached by Hall of Famers Nancy Lieberman and Cheryl Miller.

Team Miller grabbed an early 11-4 lead thanks to interior penetration and after a basket to bring the lead back to five, Miller’s squad cashed in a pair of buckets to take a nine-point lead at the first media timeout.

Effective three-point shooting allowed the lead to stretch to 16 with a little over one and a half minutes left in the quarter and would be pushed to 18 by the end of the quarter.

Down 31-13, Team Lieberman needed to put together some sort of run, even a small one. 

After scoring the first basket of the second quarter, they surrendered a short 4-0 run and found themselves down 20. 

However, Lieberman’s squad finally played some defense, sparking a 10-0 run to get the lead down to 10.

Team Miller watched their 20-point lead get cut in half but scored five quick points to pull the lead back up to 15.

After multiple impressive plays by both teams, the difference was still 14 with under two minutes to go in the first half.

Team Lieberman won the final minutes of the half, cutting the lead to 49-38 at halftime.

Team Miller leaned on penetrating the paint along with timely three-point shots to take control in the first quarter, but the shots weren’t falling as often in the second quarter. Team Lieberman was also able to cut into the lead by preventing a surplus of offensive rebounds for team Miller.

Though it was an 11-point difference at the break, it was evident that Lieberman’s team was capable of coming back.

After going back down 13, Team Lieberman scored five straight to cut the lead to single digits for the first time since the first quarter.

Now down eight, they kept the momentum going with another five straight, pulling within three points. Another basket made it a one-point game, which was the closest it had been since the first basket.

Team Lieberman finally grabbed the lead with a three-pointer, but it was short-lived as team Miller responded with their own. However, Lieberman’s team came right back with another basket to reclaim the one-point lead.

After giving up a long 45-24 run to fall behind by a point, Team Miller went the quarter out on a 12-5 run to claim a six-point lead heading into the final quarter.

Team Lieberman reverted back to their first-half defensive rebounding, which was non-existent, and watched their deficit grow back to 11. 

They would fight back, scoring seven straight to bring the lead back down to four. 

Team Miller pushed the lead back to seven on a three-pointer that banked in, but it was countered by a Team Lieberman three-pointer a few possessions later. 

The All-Star Game format is such that once the game reaches the first media timeout in the fourth quarter, there is no more clock. Instead, the two teams compete to reach a target score, which is ten more than the current score of the leading team. In this case, Team Miller led 84-80, so the first team to 94 would win the game.

The two teams traded buckets, still leaving Team Miller up four, but slightly closer to victory.

A free throw cut the lead to three, then a missed free throw, offensive rebound, and a pair of two made free throws by Team Lieberman cut the lead to 86-85. 

After each team came up empty, a layup pushed the Team Miller lead up to three, but another pair of free throws brought it right back down to one. 

Team Lieberman once again completed a double-digit comeback with a block on the defensive end followed up by a jump-shot on the offensive side.

Down 89-88, Team Miller came up short at the rim, then gave up a bucket at the other end, going down three points. 

Team Lieberman got a stop and was three points away from victory. They were unable to get a shot off due to a foul early in the possession, but still nailed two free throws to go up 93-88. 

Needing to score six unanswered points to win, Team Miller was unable to score as Team Lieberman forced a jump ball, which favored them.

Needing just a two-pointer, Team Lieberman went with a backdoor cut, resulting in a game-winning layup, with the final score being 95-88.

With the Final Four being the night before and the National Championship being the afternoon after, the Women’s All-Star Game was also an excellent showcase of talent of players across the country.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Black Squirrel Radio