Shenzhen, China – In front of a capacity crowd of 8,567, the NetScouts Basketball Women’s USA All-Stars (8-1) led wire to wire in a thrilling 75-68 win over host China (7-2). With the victory the USA won both the tournament in Shenzhen as well as the overall Four Nations Tournament for the entire three-city tour.
The USA All-Stars used a 25-15 third quarter to extend their lead to 18 points and cruise to the final margin. Despite shooting just 46 percent (7-of-15) from the foul line, the Americans had a stingy defense that only allowed China to shoot 15 percent (4-of-27) from behind the arc. Up to this point, China had been the best three-point shooting team in the tournament.
The Americans had five players score in double figures as Deanna Weaver (Boise State) led the team with 16 points. Keani Albanez (Gonzaga) added 14, Keena Mays (SMU), Alexyz Vaioletama (USC) and Stephanie Lee (Northern Colorado) all chipped in 10. Ariel Thomas (Oregon – 7 points), Cierra Warren (San Diego State – 7 points) and Joy Burke (Arizona State – 1 point) closed out the scoring for the USA. Burke was able to play 13 minutes after sitting out the prior two games with a knee injury. She pulled down five rebounds and helped play solid defense against the Chinese bigs.
Helping the USA squad cruise to victory was their 10-of-20 performance from behind the arc – Weaver (4-of-6) and Albanez (3-of-5) kept the floor spread which allowed the team to attack the basket at will. Instrumental to the American attack was the passing of guards Thomas (5 assists) and Mays (4 assists). Impressively the USA All-Stars forced the ball control oriented Chinese team into 22 turnovers with Albanez and Weaver both ending with four steals while Vaioletama finished with two.
Head Coach Ryan Johnson
“This game was a true testament to every single one of the players on this squad and how they approached this as a team effort to get the win. Every game on this trip presented new challenges, whether it was having a short bench, crazy travel or great competition the team time and time again rose to the challenge. I commend each of the players for their determination and effort and their desire to just win basketball games. When you get a squad that can play team basketball you are going to win a lot of games. I also want to thank Drew Muscatell for providing great guidance as an assistant coach on this trip and also a big thank you to our athletic trainer Jon Marques for his great work in keeping our players healthy, safe, and on the floor. I think it is a huge testament to all the staff and players to go 8-1 in a very demanding tour against the highest level of competition while playing with a short-handed squad”
Shenzhen City named offensive and defensive MVPs which went to the USA’s Keani Albanez on the offensive side and Deanna Weaver on the defensive side. The USA’s Alexyz Vaioletama and Stephanie Lee joined Abanez and Weaver on the All-Tournament Team along with Zhiting Zhang (China) and Barbara Skowronek (Poland).
Poland (1-8) got its first win of the tournament as they bested the Danes (2-7) 66-54 in the early game.
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