The NetScouts Basketball Women’s USA All-Star team now will play three games against the Chinese National “B” team. The team flew from Jinzhong City to Beijing and to Harbin, which is in the upper northeast section of China. A four-hour bus ride from Harbin brought us to our new location, a beautiful little city of 300,000.
We are in an absolutely remote location. On the bus ride we saw nothing but corn, wheat and root vegetable fields for hours…not acres…hours. The good AND WEIRD NEWS is that it is on the Russian Border!!! We are that far north!! So we are asking our hosts to take us across the river/bridge and ‘stand in Russia’ for a few minutes before flying out.
We had an opening ceremony dinner last night after we got in, lots of ‘toasting’ going on and good food.
In game 1 of our series with the China National “B” team the NetScouts Basketball Women’s USA All-Stars prevailed 98-81.
It looked like it was going to be a long night just three minutes into the game when the USA had been called for seven fouls to zero for the Chinese. China led at that point after scoring seven of their nine points at the FT line and were already in the bonus. But the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars relied on a deep bench and consistent defensive effort to battle through the adversity.
Late in the first and early in the second the American offense started clicking and they took a five point lead into half. Becky Burke hit a few three’s and the posts (Cierra Bravard, Becca Tobin, Kali Bennett, Amanda “AJ” Johnson, and Kristina “T” Santiago) got it going inside to spur on the offense.
The second half started well for the USA group thanks to key transition plays by Jence Rhoads and Katie Bussey and an outstanding all-around game from Briana Gilbreath who attacked the basket with reckless abandon and played great defense, leading the Americans with three steals, one block, and numerous deflections.
Brittany Carter had two highlight plays in the 3rd quarter with a “tip in” style put back and an “Alley Oop” off a sideline out-of-bounds play and a beautiful pass from Burke. Dawn Evans played one of her best games of the trip and didn’t score a point. In fact, she only shot once but ran the club and distributed the ball extremely well. She also applied great ball pressure defensively and set the tone for the American defenders.
The US and China play again tomorrow at 3:30pm.
Katie Bussey (Montana State): 5 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists
Dawn Evans (James Madison): 0 points, 2 rebound, 4 assists, 2 steals
Jence Rhoads (Vanderbilt): 10 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
Briana Gilbreath (USC): 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals
Brittany Carter (Memphis): 8 points, 3 rebounds
Becky Burke (Louisville): 11 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists
Kristina Santiago (Cal Poly): 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
Amanda Johnson (Oregon): 14 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist
Kali Bennett (Arizona State): 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist
Becca Tobin (Arizona State): 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Cierra Brevard (Florida State): 14 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist