UConn's Moore scores 32 in scrimmages

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — It doesn't matter what team Maya Moore plays for or what uniform she wears. The UConn All-American usually ends up on the winning side.

Even when the games don't count.

Moore scored 32 points in four scrimmage games between the USA Basketball Women's national and select teams before an estimated crowd of 3,000.

The exhibition concluded the weeklong spring training in preparation for the FIBA World Championship, a 16-team tournament that begins Sept. 23.

The teams, which were comprised of players in the WNBA and college, played four 10-minute games. To speed the tempo, there was a 24-second shot clock and players had eight seconds to bring the ball over the midcourt line.

Moore, who has helped UConn win back-to-back NCAA championships and 78 consecutive wins, led the national team to victories in the first two games. Then she switched teams and jerseys, going from red to white, and helped the select team win the final two games.

"Four and 0," said Renee Montgomery, Moore's former teammate at UConn. "She comes out and she plays hard every second. That's the thing that Maya's always going to do. She's going to give it her all, and usually she's successful."

Moore made a total of seven shots behind the 3-point arc, including her first five. It was a familiar scene to national team coach Geno Auriemma, Moore's coach at UConn.

"The more you see Maya play, the more she's around the best players, Maya gets into these zones," Auriemma said. "Even at this level among all these great players, there's something different about Maya. You could see it at the end of the game there, some of the plays that she makes."

In the final scrimmage with Moore's team trailing by two, she stole the ball and found Montgomery open for a 3-pointer that gave the select team a 22-21 lead. Then in the closing seconds, Moore stole the ball from an opposing player and made the game-winning shot.

"She doesn't lose," national team forward Angel McCoughtry said of Moore. "She just raises the bar and raises it for everybody else. She exceeds her generation."

After helping the national team win the first two games, Moore donned a white jersey and played for the select team in the third scrimmage. Late in that game, Auriemma alerted an official at the table that the scoreboard was incorrect.

"Seriously, it's 16-14. Maya's up two," Auriemma said.

Moore's team ended up winning that game by three. In the final scrimmage, her team trailed by eight before rallying for a 27-25 win. Allison Hightower scored 10 points to lead the comeback. The former LSU player was one of eight players taken in the recent WNBA draft.

"The players who just graduated and are going into the (WNBA), this is a good head start for training camp and kind of gives them a feel of what to expect in a couple weeks when training camp starts," Auriemma said. "I think everybody that was here benefits from this week."