The USA Women won four of their last five games to end the 2015 China Tour by defeating host China 67-53. With the win they became the undefeated champions of the second city of the tour.
Points in the paint reigned supreme as Cierra Warren put up a trip high 26 points on a China team that had no answer for her inside. She finished with a 8 rebounds & a block. Jenn Reese kicked in a double figure effort with 10 points, spacing the floor by hitting jump shots in the high low game as well as finishing around the rim in transition, she also had 6 rebounds & an assist.
Front court mate Nikki Greene had 8 points 9 rebounds & swatted 3 shots, her shot blocking ability proved to be a vital deterrent to opposing offenses & a cornerstone of the USA defense. Finding her front court teammates in the high low game was Kendall Kenyon who had 2 assists 2 points & a solid 7 rebound night on the glass giving the USA 4 extra possessions on offensive rebounds.
The USA out rebounded China by double digits 45-35. Getting the ball inside took a commitment from the perimeter players & they wowed the sell out crowd with needle threading passes on the screen & roll game as well as well long balls in transition to streaking posts. Piling up the assists was Angela Rodriguez who dished out 3 for easy buckets while hitting two 3’s & racking up 8 points of her own. Joining her with 3 assists was Haiden Palmer who was equally as dangerous as a scorer & facilitator off the screen & roll cashing in 6 points with 2 steals.
Small Forward D’Shara Strange also had 6 points while pulling down 7 big boards handing out 2 assists & swiping 4 steals in an active night. Shannon Smith found her teammates for 2 assists & came up with a timely steal that lead to an easy bucket in transition for the USA. Shannon’s speed proved to be a vital weapon for the USA as they had an extra gear that opponents could not match.
Emily Burns played solid minutes at the small forward position, once again contributing on the glass with 4 rebounds, 2 possession saving offensive boards that lead to her drawing fouls & making a free throw to finish with 1 point & 1 steal. Tear’A Laudermill’s perimeter defensive lockdown mode proved vital once again holding China to 19% 3 point shooting. Tear’A also finished defensive possessions with 4 rebounds 2 steals & handed out an assist. T’s defense was called upon time & time again to change momentum & quell the runs of the USA opponents.
Excellent team defense & a willingness to make the extra pass made for an exciting brand of basketball for a team that only had two practices together before playing six games.
A fun & successful trip on the court as well as a global cultural experience will come to an end as quickly as started with many memories along the way as the USA Team will return the States on Monday.
Safe travels to Team USA and all of the teams! Please leave comments below and share on Facebook and Twitter.