Jiahe, China – Suffocating defense and high quality attacks to the basket helped push the NetScouts Basketball USA-Stars to a commanding victory over Lithuania. The opponent did not go quietly as they fought hard and battled throughout the game, but the Americans never relented and walked away the 72-49 victors. The 49 points by Lithuania is the lowest opponent output thus far on the China Tour. It represents a great bounce back from a lackluster performance against the Aussies.
The USA All-Stars, with 18 steals forcing 24 turnovers, were able to break down court and attacked the paint leading to easy buckets. But what was more impressive was the fact that the Americans held a great shooting Lithuanian team to just 28 percent from 2 and 23 percent from beyond the arc. In doing so, the team was able to corral another 28 defensive boards that led to many more open court break opportunities. The team showed solid grit and determination to control the defensive glass only giving up 9 offensive rebounds. The key of the night was playing great defense that led to easy offense.
Leading the charge, and putting forth her best game thus far on the tour was Talia Walton who finished with 18 points on 8-for -3 shooting with six rebounds. Offensively the Americans once again struggled from long distance, shooting just 17%, but they only shot six total 3’s, compared to 28 in the Australian loss. The team relentlessly attacked the paint via the dribble, pass and post up and were consistently getting wide easier looks closer to the basket. Shelby Cheslek (11 points, 7 rebounds) and Marquelle Dent (9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals) both put out solid offensive performances.
Everyone on the team contributed to the final tally of 72 points with Danielle Rodriguez, Brittany Crain, Lexi Peterson and Stephanie Lee all adding six points, while Jazmine Perkins, Kaylon Williams and Jamie Patrick added four, four and two points respectively.
The Lithuanians did get solid performances out of Martyna Petrenaite (18 points on 6-for-10 shooting) while Rasa Knyzaite added 10 points. Karolina Visockaite, though she only tallied five points, had a team and game high 11 rebounds.
It was great to see the American team respond and show their real colors as a team. They will look to take the tournament championship when they take on China tomorrow in the Tour finale. The USA All-Stars sit at 4-1 on the tour.
Marquelle Dent (Wyoming) 9 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 6 steals
Danielle Rodriguez (Utah) 6 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Lexi Petersen (Oregon) 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Brittany Crain (UC Riverside) 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block
Jaime Patrick (Colorado State) 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Jazmine Perkins (Washington State/Finland) 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Stephanie Lee (Northern Colorado/Germany) 6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 1 block
Talia Walton (Washington) 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Kaylon Williams (Oklahoma) 4 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Shelby Cheslek (Gonzaga) 11 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
Thanks to Ryan Johnson and David Huss for their reports from China.
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