WNBA best buzzer beaters are the moments we all live for. So today we’ll take a look at some clutch game shots throughout the league’s existence. From Teresa Weatherspoon’s infamous WNBA Finals half-court game winner to Jewell Lloyd sealing the deal for her WNBA team in 2020, you’ll see some of the most beautiful buckets this game has to offer.
Often times, these players are guarded by multiple defenders who barely give them an inch. How did they possibly make these shots? Find out, and get inspired to bring your best the next time you have the opportunity, on the court and in life.
A buzzer beater is a shot that’s taken before the game clock of a quarter, a half, or an overtime period expires. The key is that the shot doesn’t land in the basket until after the clock expires and the buzzer sounds. There’s just something magical about watching the ball sink through the net with no time left on the clock!
The greatest WNBA buzzer beaters of all time happen when everything is on the line. So here we take a look at some dramatic game-winning hits, that’ll be remembered by fans for years to come, in chronological order.
OK talk about major key! This is one of the most memorable moments in WNBA history. The drama, the pace, the score flip flopping – this one was a real nail biter.
At the last moment, Teresa Weatherspoon hits a half-court game winner. Today this is still the Liberty’s only victory in a Finals game. Make it that much more impressive.
Back in 2012, to end the first quarter of a game between the Chicago Sky and the Indiana Fever, Courtney Vandersloot launched a half-court shot. She yanked the defensive rebound and sprinted towards half court. Realizing there were less than two seconds left, she fired off the shot towards the hoop. As a result, she scores her first points of the game and brings her team within one point of the Fever.
Back in her rookie season in 2013, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne added to her already impressive career with a buzzer-beating game winner. As her team, the Chicago Sky, took on the Phoenix Mercury, Delle Donne secured 18 points. But her last two points were the biggest in the 70-68 win for Chicago.
With less than six seconds left on the clock, she gets the ball inbounds, dribbles two to the right, a hard two dribbles to the left, spins, and sinks the shot. It’s a beautiful way to create space and get the shot off!
In 2014, when the LA Sparks played against the Connecticut Sun, Nneka Ogwumike got the steal from her sister, Chiney Ogwumike to kick off the beginning of an epic play. Her team is down by two but she doesn’t sweat it.
Nneka makes a iron-grip catch, and then passes the ball to Kristi Toliver at the top of the key. Kristi buries the shot with only 9 seconds left to win the game for the Sparks! Kristi is known for hitting clutch shots (how about that hit to win the National Championship in 2006 with Maryland!), and she didn’t disappoint here.
Also back in 2014, in a close game between the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury, Diana Taurasi came through. After the ball is inbounded to her with just 7 seconds remaining, she dribbles into the center of the court. Then, she makes a hard cut towards the foul line corner.
The defender appears to be expecting a screen, so she moves to create space to get around it. Diana seizes the opportunity and knocks down the game-winning jumper with ease. That seals her team’s winning fate with just 2.4 seconds left on the clock.
Look, Maya Moore was (and is) a problem! Back in 2015, she hit a critical three-pointer to win Game 3 of the WNBA Finals. This is a beautiful shot, and she knocked it in with finesse.
First she sprints to get open as the ball as inbounded. She pops out, then back in giving her defender a little shove in the opposite direction, and then finally runs backwards to create space. She catches the ball and gives a pump fake to shake the defender. One dribble side steps to the right and knocks it in!
In 2019, Dearica Hamby sent the Las Vegas Aces to the 2019 WNBA Playoff Semifinals. In the last moments of the game, she sealed their fate after making a great sideline steal. From there she drives into hit a clutch three-pointer. Talk about a bad play becoming great! Sure, she had an unguarded teammate underneath the basket, but it went in, so we’ll take it.
In the 2020 WNBA season, Skylar Diggins-Smith went off as the Phoenix Mercury squared off against the Connecticut Sun. She proved she has ice in her veins!
She scored 33 points, including a drive past three defenders, and a long three-pointer to send the game to overtime at the buzzer. This is the reason teams practice a half-court shot contest.
Shey joined the Phoenix Mercury less than a month prior to the game after getting waived by her former team — the Washington Mystics. And this corner three ensured her new team kept going beyond the first round of the 2020 WNBA playoffs, while sending the Mystics home.
“They released me, so for me to hit that shot against them, it’s just like a fairytale moment,” Shey said after the game The Insider reported. “I don’t think you can write it up any better than that.”
The Mystics’ Leilani Mitchell sprinted out to guard a wide open Shey. But Shey pump faked, sending Mitchell soaring out of bounds. And then knocked down the shot like the champ she is!
During September of the 2020 season, in a game between the LA Sparks and Seattle Storm, Jewell Loyd dropped 25 points. And she hit a stunning game-winner for Seattle.
Sue Bird threads the ball to Jewell, who makes the shot from the corner. This is one of the toughest spots on the floor to hit a basket. And Jewell does it with a defender right in her face. Her timing and shot rhythm are impeccable.
Whether it was a series-clinching shot, or just sparked a turnaround for a player’s team during the season, these buzzer beaters won’t soon be forgotten.
Up next, for more jaw-dropping moments, check out the best Chicago Sky highlights of all time.
Written by Megan Mitzel, youth basketball coach, and Founder of Queen Ballers Club.
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