Wenshan, China – The NetScouts Basketball Women’s USA All-Stars got out to a 32-24 first half lead and continued to hold that lead until midway through the fourth quarter when a fresher China team was able to surge past them for a 74-67 win. Nine fourth quarter turnovers by the Americans and timely three-point shooting and a heavy low post presence helped pull China ahead to the win before another capacity crowd.
The USA All-Stars were led by the trio of Cierra Warren, Deanna Weaver, and Alexyz Vaioletama with 19, 17, and 14 points respectively. Keena Mays, Ariel Thomas, and Stephanie Lee chipped in seven, six, and four points.
In the second half China went to a big lineup with four players 6’2″ to 6’7″ and were able to pound the ball inside to 6’5″ Zhiting Zhang and 6’7″ Liting Zhang. The two Chinese centers were able to power their way to 27 second half points combined. The Americans had held China quiet from outside the arc until Chengcheng Wang dropped four second half three-pointers when the Americans collapsed to stop the inside presence.
The Americans come away with a second place finish in Wenshan City despite playing very short-handed with only six players. Their limited rotation was the difference in this game as the tall Chinese squad wore down the USA. It was an excellent effort by the six USA All-Stars. Things will get somewhat better in Chenzhou for the Americans as Keani Albanez (Gonzaga) will join the squad there and 6’5″ center Joy Burke’s knee injury will be re-evaluated. The USA All-Stars will be ready to get another shot at China in Chenzhou.
In the early game, the Polish team had the Danes on the ropes until the final minutes of regulation where Denmark (1-2) sank two free throws to send the game into overtime. The Danes the closed out the overtime period on a 13-7 run to win 78-72.
The All-Tournament team for Wenshan City, saw China’s Zhiting Zhang grab MVP honors. The USA’s Cierra Warren and Deanna Weaver were named along with Ida Tryggedsson (Denmark) and Barbara Skowronek (Poland).
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