The NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars edged host China 68-67 to win the first leg of their 11-game China tour in PingXiang City. Chelsea Hopkins was fouled with eight seconds left and made one of two free throws to give the USA a one-point lead. A non-shooting foul was called on the USA with 2.7 seconds left giving China one last chance. However, a jumper from the wing hit the back of the rim and the USA escaped with the win.
The USA was ahead much of the first half and took a 39-33 lead into the halftime break. They extended the lead to 51-41 on a three-pointer from Aulani Sinclair. China then mounted a comeback, tying the game at 63 and then taking a 65-63 lead on a jumper from 6’6 Hongpin Huang. thina maintained a two-point lead at 67-65 when Alexis Gray-Lawson was fouled and made both foul shots to tie the game. The USA then came up with a steal bur couldn’t convert on a lay-up and three consecutive offensive rebounds. China missed a three-pointer before Hopkins made her shot to give the USA their final lead.
The USA had a +9 rebound advantage in the contest, their third straight game in which their rebounding played an important part in the win. Neither team shot well from the floor. China connected on only 34% on two-pointers while the USA shot only 38% on two-pointers. Both teams shot 25% from long distance.
Aulani Sinclair led a balanced scoring American squad with 11 points. 6’3 Xiaoyu Sun led China with 17 points on perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the charity stripe.
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Star Head Coach Chris Denker “Our team battled a tough opponent and gritted out a win. Our strength in the post made the difference in this game as our outside shots weren’t falling. We expect to improve as we play more together and am looking forward to our next series of games in Chengdu”.
Chelsea Hopkins, PG (San Diego State) 9 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists
Alexis Gray-Lawson, G (California) 9 points, 2 rebounds
Aishah Sutherland, F (Kansas) 8 points, 6 rebounds
Taleya Mayberry, PG (Tulsa) 0 points, 0 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals
China Crosby, PG (Virginia) 2 points, 0 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
Tahnee Robinson, G (Nevada) 8 points, 7 rebounds
Aulani Sinclair, F (Indiana) 11 points, 2 rebounds
Nikki Greene, C (Penn State) 1 points, 3 rebounds
Sarah Eichler, F (Green Bay) 4 points, 1 rebound
Chelsea Poppens, F (Iowa State) 6 points, 2 rebounds
Jessica Lawson, C (South Florida) 5 points, 9 rebounds
Talia Caldwell, C (California) 5 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
In the first game Australia went to 1-2 on the tour with a 84-76 win over Hungary. Olivia Thompson led Australia with 19 points and seven rebounds. Lauren Mansfield added 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. Reka Balint led Hungary with 26 points while 6’6 Tijana Krivacevic was held to nine points and four rebounds.
All the teams now travel to Chengdu where the next series of games will start on June 22nd.