USC
USC earns Rose Bowl berth, capping dramatic turnaround

Seimone Augustus

Alana Beard's contributions to Los Angeles Sparks came even before winning Game 1 shot

Alana Beard's contributions to Los Angeles Sparks came even before winning Game 1 shot

With the score tied in Game 1 of the WNBA finals and 24.7 seconds to play Sunday, Sparks Coach Brian Agler didn’t call Alana Beard’s number. 

The veteran guard had scored only two points to that point and was on the court with Candace Parker, WNBA most valuable player Nneka Ogwumike and the sharp-shooting Kristi Tolliver. She was at most a decoy, almost an afterthought. 

The Minnesota Lynx thought so, too, and left her open in the corner.

Beard calmly stepped into a jump shot and tumbled into the Sparks bench as the ball fell through the net. The buzzer sounded as it did, the Sparks taking a 1-0 lead heading into Game 2 on Tuesday (5 p.m....

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