Prior to the shoot-around, the team took a little walk around town this morning through the street markets. There was quite the assortment of goods and, of course, the team did a little shopping . I’m sure the girls will have lots of interesting photos and tales of some of the interesting things they came across, so we will have to get some photos to share shortly.
But today is all about Game Day. 1st Game. And of course, against the host team China. We headed down to shoot-around here at 12:30pm local time, to prepare for the 7pm tip-off at Nan’an Arena.
The NetScouts Basketball USA Women’s All-Stars defeated China 57-56 as a last second three-point attempt by China sailed wide. The USA led by as many as 15 points in the 2nd half but had to hold on as host China came back and eventually took the lead. The USA answered with a Jamie Russell (Illinois St.) bucket and held on for the win.
China had taken the lead prior to Russell’s basket, which gave the USA the lead with 1:50 remaining. The USA then cranked up their defense, getting three final stops to end the game.
China started their comeback by scoring the last five points of the first half to cut the 15-point USA lead to 10. The USA came out for the third quarter and missed four lay-ups while China scored on three of their first four possessions to get right back into the game.
As usual, the games against China are serious “away” games and we get no favors from the referees. The USA was called for 20 fouls against only 10 for the Chinese. China was 11-of-20 on free throws vs. 5-of-6 for the USA. We were not in the bonus for the entire game.
The USA forced 17 turnovers and out-rebounded China 41-36. We got our transition game going in the first half but then had to battle serious foul trouble. Morgan Johnson (Iowa) and Sam Ostarello (Purdue) had three each at the half and each picked up their fourth foul early in the 4th quarter.
Our guards rebounded especially well, with 22 rebounds from the four guards. Jacqui Kalin led the group and team with seven boards. The USA struggled to score in second half with only 19 total second half points. We only shot 32% for the game, including 24% (6-of-25) on three-pointers. The game was won with defense and rebounding. Lauren Oosdyke, Samantha Heck, Stephanie Sension and Meghan Fulps all made important defensive plays for us. Jamie Russell led the USA with 11 points as we had very balanced scoring.
Overall, it was a good start to the tournament, with just two practices under the belt the team will look to tighten things up both offensively and defensively in the days to come!! We will face Australia tomorrow night in the late game of the day. The Aussies beat Brazil by 14 in a physical fast paced game.
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars Head Coach Chris Denker
“For the first game, after only 2 practices and having never played together or under FIBA rules, I thought the team did a nice job. They really played as a team, shared the ball…almost too unselfish at times but that’s a good problem to have. We really got big stops late when we needed them to seal the win.”
Meghan Fulps 5’7 PG (Santa Clara) 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Jacqui Kalin 5’8 PG (Northern Iowa) 2 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals
Jamie Russell 5’8 G (Illinois State) 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists
Adrian Ritchie 5’11 G (Green Bay) 8 points (2-of-6 3’s), 6 rebounds, 2 steals
Lauren Oosdyke 5’11 F (Northern Colorado) 2 points, 2 rebounds, 4 steals
Kate Thompson 6’4 F (Michigan) 6 points (2-of-5 on 3’s)
Sam Ostarello 6’2 F (Purdue) 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks
Samantha Heck 6’2 F/C (Evansville) 5 points, 3 rebounds
Stephanie Sension 6’3 F/C (Green Bay) 7 points, 4 rebounds
Morgan Johnson 6’5 C (Iowa) 6 points, 5 rebounds