MINNEAPOLIS -- Liz Cambage wants in.
With admiration and a touch of envy, Cambage, the 6-foot-8 center from Dallas, watched Chicago guard Allie Quigley win the WNBA All-Star Game 3-point shooting contest for the second consecutive year. Quigley needed a tiebreaker round to fend off Kayla McBride of Las Vegas, but her record-setting performance gave Cambage -- who hit a 3-pointer herself in the third quarter -- a novel idea.
"We need some big girls in the 3-point contest, even if it's guards go first and bigs go second," Cambage said. "Me and BG [Brittney Griner] were saying that while they were shooting because we were bitter. We felt left out today. But yeah, let's get the big girls in there."
"Or a dunk contest," Quigley said with a smile.
In an All-Star Game featuring 31 3-pointers -- 16 by the losing Team Delle Donne and 15 by Team Parker -- the 3-point contest at halftime provided the most drama and inspiration. Quigley and McBride each scored 18 points in the final round, forcing a 60-second tiebreaker. In the extra session, Quigley poured in a record 29 points, going 5-for-5 from her "money ball" rack from right wing to beat McBride by eight points.
"How do you follow the 3-point contest?" said Candace Parker, captain of the victorious Team Parker. "You had some of the best shooters in the world competing. To have to make 21 just to get into the top two, then to have a shoot-off, then have Allie hit 29?"
"That was awesome," opposing captain Elena Delle Donne said.
Parker and Delle Donne weren't alone in that sentiment. Players on both teams sat around watching and rooting while Quigley and McBride shot it out. Maya Moore was so impressed that she name-checked Quigley in an ABC interview after being named the game's Most Valuable Player.
"I was shocked," said Quigley, who had 18 points with four 3s in the 119-112 Team Parker victory. "I mean, Maya is a proven winner. She's a legend. For her to say that, that's just the kind of person she is, the kind of player she is. She wins an MVP, and she's talking about the rest of her team and how amazing the fans are, so she's just a class act and great for our league."
While Moore is basketball royalty -- she won her third consecutive All-Star Game MVP -- Quigley is a low-key veteran from Joliet, Illinois, and DePaul, a two-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year chosen for her first All-Star Game last season. As she did last year, Quigley donated her $10,000 winnings to the scholarship fund named for her late father, Patrick, at Joliet Catholic High School, which they both attended.
McBride scored 22 points and Quigley 21 in the preliminary round to advance to the final ahead of Washington's Kristi Toliver (20), Jewell Loyd of Seattle (19), Atlanta's Renee Montgomery (18) and Kelsey Mitchell of Indiana (16). Montgomery wore teammate Tiffany Hayes' No. 15 jersey in a nod to the player many believed should have been an All-Star. Toliver, properly warmed up, went on to hit seven 3-pointers in the second half, with her game-high 23 points nearly shooting Team Delle Donne to a victory.
"I usually do shoot pretty well in this building," Toliver said. In the final, Quigley went first, scoring 18 points. McBride missed her first four attempts before heating up, drawing even by sinking the tying shot just before the final buzzer.
"It was a little bit more interesting than I thought it was going to be with the tiebreaker, but so many good shooters in that group," Quigley said. "I'm just really happy that I was able to get in the zone there and win it."
Moore loved it.
"I'm a basketball fan. I'm a fan of greatness," she said. "Candace and I and Chelsea [Gray], we were just watching her and just commenting, like, just look at her, just her form, just how efficient she is with her shot. It just seems to float off her hand into the rim. Candace was like, 'Look at the way she just adjusted when she was just a little bit off.' And I was commenting on the depth of her shot. Like, we were just admiring one of the great players in our game.
"When it went into OT, we were going crazy because K- Mac [McBride] came back and brought it to overtime, and you couldn't have drawn it up any better. And then she beat her old record from last year. It really did give us a boost. It was our first W of the day as Team Parker, and we wanted to carry it over to the rest of the game."
It did. Team Parker, down four at halftime, rallied for the victory, with Quigley and Skylar Diggins-Smith teaming for five 3-pointers and 23 points in the second half.