The NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars earned a hard fought 98-86 win over the national team of Hungary before 3,000 fans in PingXiang, China. The USA battled back from a 15-point second quarter deficit by outscoring a game Hungarian squad 53-36 in the second half.
Aulani Sinclair (Indiana) and Alexis Gray-Lawson (California) led the comeback for the Americans. Sinclair hit four second-half three-pointers while Gray-Lawson hit two as both players scored 14 second-half points. Sinclair led the USA in scoring with 22 points with six three-pointers. Gray-Lawson added 17 points and converted all seven of her free throws. Skilled 6’6 center Tijana Krivacevic led Hungary with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Hungary used scoring from Krivacevic, crisp passing and timely three-point shooting from Rita Rasheed (three first half three’s) to take a 50-35 late second-quarter lead before the USA scored the final ten points of the half to cut the deficit to five at the break.
The USA pounded the boards throughout the game using their superior front court depth to their advantage. The Americans enjoyed a 58-27 rebounding advantage and grabbed 21 offensive boards. The USA bigs also drew fouls and succeeded in getting the Hungarian posts into foul trouble. Chelsea Poppens (Iowa State) led the USA with 11 rebounds and came up with a key steal and bucket to give the USA a late four-point lead. Sinclair hit several big three’s including one from the corner that gave the Americans a late lead. American centers Nikki Greene (Penn State, 11 points,8 rebounds) and Talia Caldwell (California, 10 points, 4 rebounds) played well while Aishah Sutherland (Kansas) helped out with four offensive boards.
USA point guards Chelsea Hopkins (San Diego State) and China Crosby (Virginia) were effective creating opportunities for their teammates as they combined for 19 assists. Hopkins reached double-figures in assists with 11 while Crosby grabbed six boards in addition to her eight assists.
In the first game China went to 2-0 with an easy 78-43 win over Australia. 6’1 Ting Shao led China with 13 points hitting all three of her three-pointers. China out-rebounded Australia 35-16. This sets up the title game for the PingXiang portion of the tour as China and the USA face off in the second game tonight with both teams undefeated.
Chelsea Hopkins, PG (San Diego State) 3 points, 2 rebounds, 11 assists
Alexis Gray-Lawson, G (California) 17 points, 3 rebounds
Aishah Sutherland, F (Kansas) 7 points, 6 rebounds
Taleya Mayberry, PG (Tulsa) 2 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists
China Crosby, PG (Virginia) 2 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists
Tahnee Robinson, G (Nevada) 7 points, 1 rebound
Aulani Sinclair, F (Indiana) 22 points, 7 rebounds
Nikki Greene, C (Penn State) 11 points, 8 rebounds
Sarah Eichler, F (Green Bay) 0 points, 1 rebound
Chelsea Poppens, F (Iowa State) 11 points, 11 rebounds
Jessica Lawson, C (South Florida) 6 points, 8 rebounds
Talia Caldwell, C (California) 10 points, 4 rebounds