West 77, East 69
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Yolanda Griffith had 19 points and Natalie Williams added 17 as the West All-Stars beat the East 77-69 Saturday night in the third game of the WNBA On Tour 2000.
The West won for the second time straight time in the four-game offseason series, an effort to increase the league’s fan base. The game drew a crowd of 6,250 to the 18,000-seat Alltel Arena.
Jennifer Gillom added 11 points for the West, which dominated play inside.
``They’ve got great size,″ said East coach Carolyn Peck. ``So there’s a mismatch with their size. We are just more guard-oriented _ that was just the balance of the team the league selected.″
Vicky Bullett and Merlakia Jones scored 15 points each to lead the East. Nikki McCray added 12 points and Shannon Johnson had 11.
Trailing 39-37 at halftime, the West needed 14 seconds to get even on Griffith’s layup, and regained the lead for good at 41-39 with 19:00 left. The lead was slowly built to 10 on two occasions, the last time at 62-52 with 8:19 left.
The East cut the margin to 64-62 with 5:53 left, before the West scored six straight. Jennifer Azzi began the run with a free throw, before Williams scored five straight points.
The West led most of the first half, taking an 11-8 lead on a 3-pointer by Gillom with 15:17 left in the half. The East pulled even at 31-31 with 3:43 left before intermission and grabbed their first lead in more than 12 minutes on McCray’s 3-pointer with 3 minutes left.
The East lost the lead briefly, but regained it at 37-35 and held on for the two-point advantage at the half.
The East won the first meeting of the series 81-79 at Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 22. The West won 91-86 Wednesday at St. Louis. The tour of cities without WNBA teams ends Wednesday at New Orleans.