Sylvia Fowles Earns EuroLeague All-Star Game MVP, Leads Rest Of The World Team To 116-88 Win
The Rest of the World Team had a familiar look to many U.S. basketball fans in the 2011 EuroLeague Women's All-Star Game, with six members of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women's National Team, as well as several other Americans, helping their squad to a dominating, 116-88 win over the Europe Team on March 8 in Gdynia, Poland.
In fact, the starting five players for the Rest of the World Team have all donned a red, white and blue jersey, with Seimone Augustus (2008 Olympic gold medalist) and 2010 FIBA World Champions Sue Bird, Candice Dupree, Sylvia Fowles and Angel McCoughtry taking the floor to start the game.
More likely in response to her game-high (tied) 16 points, four rebounds and 50.0 percent shooting (8-of-16 FGs) than her successful dunk at the end of the game, Fowles earned MVP honors.
Augustus finished with 14 points, six assists, three steals and two rebounds; Bird dished out eight assists and added six points; Dupree tallied nine points, seven rebounds, four assists, a steal and a blocked shot; and McCoughtry matched Fowles 16 points and added nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
Tina Charles, also a 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medalist, came off the bench for the Rest of the World Team to contribute 11 points, four rebounds and two steals, turning in a rare 3-of-9 performance from behind the 3-point line. Perhaps Charles felt she'd fare better on the perimeter after missing her own dunk attempt midway through the game? Either way, she tweeted shortly after the game that she had fun working on her trey ball.
Also helping the Rest of the World Team to the win were Monica Wright, who trained against the USA Women's National Team as a member of the USA Select Team in April of 2010 and won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship, and DeWanna Bonner, who won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship and the 2006 FIBA Americas U20 Championship. Wright tallied 11 points, two assists a steal and a rebound, while Bonner added eight points, seven rebounds and two assists.
The Europe Team was led by 14 points apiece from Liron Cohen (Isreal), Katerina Elhotova (Czech Republic) and Sandrine Gruda (France).
While the rebounding was even by the end of the game at 48 apiece, the Rest of the World Team shot slightly better from the field (52.0 percent) than the Europe Team (45.6 percent). The biggest discrepancy, however, was Europe's 18 turnovers to the Rest of the World's seven, which led to 13 steals for the Rest of the World and just six for the European squad.
EuroLeague action resumes April 8, with the EuroLeague Final Four. Bird (Spartak Moscow Region), Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter (UMMC Ekaterinburg) are all still in the hunt for the 2011 EuroLeague title.