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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Charles, Hightower named as All-Star reserves

Allison Hightower (No. 23), Tina Charles (No. 31) will represent the host
Connecticut Sun squad at Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game
Connecticut Sun teammates Tina Charles and Allison Hightower were among six players named as reserves for the Eastern Conference squad for Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game.

Charles, a former UConn star, is fourth in the league in scoring averaging 18.6 points per game and second in rebounding behind fellow Eastern Conference reserve Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky.

Charles had scored at least 20 points on six different occasions and had 10 double-doubles in 15 games this season. The reigning WNBA MVP, Charles is one of three UConn graduates set to take part in the 3:30 p.m. game at Mohegan Sun Arena as Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury were voted as Western Conference starters.

“It never gets old,” Charles said. “It’s an honor to play with such a talented group of fellow All-Stars. To be able to play on my home court makes it that much better.”

Hightower, a fourth-year guard out of LSU, has emerged into one of the league's top shooting guards. Hightower averaged just 2.3 points per game in her first two seasons before putting up 6.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game to help the Sun post the best record in the Eastern Conference in 2012. With guards Kara Lawson, Renee Montgomery and Tan White combining to miss 27 games due to injury, Hightower has been the lone reliable perimeter threat for the Sun as she is averaging 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest. She has 10 double-digit scoring games this season highlighted by a 23-point effort in a July 14 win over San Antonio.

“My heart about stopped,” Hightower said Tuesday of being named to the team. “It is just a great feeling being one of the players that is going to the All-Star Game. It’s an honor.”

Joining Charles, Hightower and Fowles as Eastern Conference reserves are Crystal Langhorne and Ivory Latta of the Washington Mystics and the Indiana Fever's Shavonte Zellous.

Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx, Tulsa's Glory Johnson, the Los Angeles Sparks duo of Nneka Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver and Danielle Robinson of the San Antonio Silver Stars were named as reserves for the Western Conference.

Injury replacements will be announced on Wednesday by the league with any roster changes after that point will be handled by either Eastern Conference head coach Lin Dunn of Indiana or Minnesota's Cheryl Reeve, the head coach of the Western Conference squad.

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