Weng’an, China – Team USA started off the Weng’an leg of the Atlas International Basketball Tour of China with their 3rd win against New Zealand and 7th win overall. USA also swept the Kiwis, going 3-0 against them over the past week while increasing the win margin each time.
The 19 point victory was methodically built in the 2nd Quarter as the US suffered from some early cold shooting, resulting in a slim 11-9 lead at the end of the first period. Brittany Shine of Cal blasted through with 2 fast break layups to trigger a big US run, coupled with some strong hustle play down low by Montana grad Jordan Sullivan.
The USA post players have performed well on this tour and tonight was no different as the foursome of Bailey, Smith, Sullivan, and Swan combined for 40 points, 27 rebounds, and 6 blocks in the game. Zhane Dikes of San Francisco also played well with 4 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
This 2nd Quarter run ballooned the lead to 30-13 with just a few minutes to go in the half, but New Zealand would hit a couple late 3 pointers to cut that lead down to 11 at the break. The US would continue its strong play in the 3rd Period to stretch its lead back to 19 points, thanks to some more strong post play by Morgan Bailey of BYU and Toni Smith of Fresno State. Bailey would go on to secure a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 11 boards, while Smith was the high scorer with 12 points off 6-of-12 shooting.
With the game well in hand, NZ and the US traded buckets in the 4th Quarter to finish off this friendly rivalry. Final score, USA 65 & New Zealand 46. The US will face Poland next while the Kiwis face China.
The two teams have bonded very well with one another off the court throughout the Tour and hope to continue those relationships well beyond the tour.
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars
Ariana Elegado (Cal Poly) 0 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Zhane Dikes (San Francisco) 4 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Tear’a Laudermill (Nebraska/Finland) 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Brittany Shine (Florida/Cal) 6 points, 4 rebounds
Moriah Faulk (UCLA/Fresno State) 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals
Taylor Proctor (San Francisco) 9 points, 1 rebound, 1 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Toni Smith (Fresno State) 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
Morgan Bailey (BYU/Portugal) 11 points, 10 rebounds
Jamee Swan (Colorado) 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, 1 assist
Jordan Sullivan (Montana/Denmark) 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks
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