Chenzhou, China –The NetScouts Basketball Women’s USA All-Stars (5-1) beat host China (5-1) 78-71 to go undefeated in Chenzhou and win the tournament here. The USA got revenge on the Chinese after losing to them in their first contest in Wenshan.
An early slow start saw China bolt out to a 12-0 lead, but then the American’s defense clamped down and the USA was able to close to within two points at the end of the first quarter. The Americans offense finally found its groove by getting easy shots throughout the game. Great ball movement and limiting turnovers allowed the team to shoot 56 percent from the floor as they closed out the seven-point win.
The USA All-Stars had five players score in double-digits as Cierra Warren (San Diego State – 18 points) and Alexyz Vaioletama (USC – 17 points) led the charge. Keani Albanez (Gonzaga – 11 points), Ariel Thomas (Oregon – 10 points) and Stephanie Lee (Northern Colorado – 10 points) also scored in double-figures. Deanna Weaver (Boise State) added five points, Keena Mays (SMU ) scored four points and Joy Burke (Arizona State) contributed three points.
The USA team tallied 15 assists on their 30 made baskets as Thomas and Mays dished out four each. In addition, the Americans forced China into 16 turnovers as they had 12 steals with Vaioletama, Albanez, and Mays each swiping three. Most impressive of those, was Keena Mays’ leaping swipe on China’s last possession when she switched onto 6’7″ Liting Zhang. The 5’7″ Mays leaped into the air to tip the ball to herself from the top of Zhang’s hands.
“This was an all around team win with great contributions and efforts from everyone on the roster. We had a little bit of a slow start, but once we got our bearings we were unstoppable. China tried to use man-to-man, 2-3 and 3-2 zones to slow us down inside and outside but were ineffective as we found wide open shots throughout the game. I’m really proud of how far this team has come in just a few days time. The addition of Joy and Keani has really helped our entire lineup as we have been able to be fresher throughout games” Head Coach Ryan Johnson stated after the game.
The Americans move to 5-1 on the tour as they close out as Chenzhou City Champions by going 3-0 in their second stop on the tour.
The USA’s Cierra Warren was selected tournament MVP, while Alexyz Vaioletama and Stephanie Lee of the USA, Maria Jespersen of Denmark and Liting Zhang were also selected to the Chenzhou All-Tournament team.
In tonight’s early game, Denmark (2-4) bested Poland (0-6) 70-50. Maria Jespersen and Kiki Lund led Denmark with 16 and 14 points, while Natalia Panufnik scored 10 for Poland.
The teams will head to Shenzhen tomorrow with a day off before the final three nights of the tour.
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