The NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars finished the “Four Nations” tournament undefeated with an exciting 68-64 overtime victory over China. It was the third straight close win over China for the Americans with a total margin of victory of eight points.
The USA had to recover from an inability to score in the first half. After taking an early 8-2 lead the Americans missed on 16 consecutive shots and went 8:47 without scoring for the remainder of the first quarter into the second. China went on a 18-point run turning the six-point deficit into a 20-8 lead. The USA came right back, scoring 12 straight points of their own to tie the game at 20. From that point on, the two teams battled evenly.
Chelsea Poppens gave the USA a 55-53 lead on an offensive rebound with 54 seconds remaining. China’s Jie Sun then hit a three-pointer to give China a one-point lead. Alexis Gray-Lawson then scored on another offensive board to put the USA back up by one. China’s Xiaoyu Sun was then fouled on an offensive board, She made the first shot but missed the second, tying the game. The USA had one last chance but Gray-Lawson lost the ball out of bounds with 2.8 seconds left. A desperation shot by China at the buzzer was not close and we went to overtime.
In the overtime the game was tied at 64 when Aishah Sutherland scored for the USA with 25 seconds left. With China trying to tie, or take the lead with a three, Gray-Lawson came up with the play of the day, a steal and lay-in with 8.4 seconds left that provided the final margin of victory.
China battled the USA on the boards evenly through three quarters. After that the Americans turned it on, especially on the offensive boards. They grabbed 14 offensive boards in the fourth quarter and in the overtime compared to eight over the first three quarters. The USA ended the game with a +19 rebounding advantage. Neither team shot well from long distance as the sixth game in six nights took its toll on both teams. The USA was 0-of-11 on three’s while China was 5-of-30.
Earlier in the day, Australia claimed third place in the event with a 63-54 win over Hungary.
Final Standings: USA (9-0), China (6-3), Australia (2-7) and Hungary (1-8).
The USA will now head to Qinhuangdao via Beijing for two scrimmages against the China U19 national team. We’ll try to get a travelogue posted someone tomorrow if we have internet on our next stop.
Chelsea Hopkins, PG (San Diego State) 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
Alexis Gray-Lawson, G (California) 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
Aishah Sutherland, F (Kansas) 4 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist
Taleya Mayberry, PG (Tulsa) 0 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
China Crosby, PG (Virginia) 2 points, 2 assists, 1 steal
Tahnee Robinson, G (Nevada) 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks
Aulani Sinclair, F (Indiana) 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
Nikki Greene, C (Penn State) 2 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal
Sarah Eichler, F (Green Bay) 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Chelsea Poppens, F (Iowa State) 11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists
Jessica Lawson, C (South Florida) 2 points, 2 rebounds
Talia Caldwell, C (California) 11 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals, 2 assists