Chenzhou, China – The NetScouts Basketball Women’s USA All-Stars (4-1) topped Denmark 67-58 to go to 4-1 on the tour. The team will play China for the Chenzhou tournament championship tomorrow night.
The USA All-Stars overcame 26 turnovers as they held Denmark to 28 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers of their own as they bested the Danes for the second straight time. The Americans raced out to an 18-9 first quarter lead as Keena Mays (SMU) scored 10 of her game high 16 points. Mays and the other guards were able to find gaps by slashing to the basket and hit timely pull up jumpers.
Uncharacteristically, in a quarter that the Americans have dominated throughout the tour, the second period saw the Danes charge back to pull within one point. Though their defense was still solid in that quarter, ten U.S. turnovers resulted in 12 easy points for Denmark.
The second half saw the USA team pull away as Keani Albanez (Gonzaga) and Joy Burke (Arizona State) both poured in seven points, Albanez finished with 13 points and Burke with nine. Maybe the most impressive performance of the game came from Deanna Weaver (Boise State). Although she only tallied four points, she dominated the glass finishing with a game high 16 rebounds. 11 of those boards came on the defensive end and sparked numerous fast break opportunities for the Americans. The USA had a +12 (48-36) rebounding advantage.
The USA pushed the lead to 16 late in the fourth quarter and were able to cruise to the final margin. Ariel Thomas (Oregon) had a key hand in the Americans offense as she dished off five assists and finished with three points and six rebounds.
Throughout the game, the Danes continued to double team the post in a concerted effort to slow down the American’s inside presence. However, Alexyz Vaioletama (USC) registered a solid nine points and a game high four steals, while Cierra Warren (San Diego State) pitched in with seven points and eight boards. Stephanie Lee (Northern Colorado) added six points and six rebounds.
The Danes were lead by Maria Jespersen’s (South Florida) double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, while the Tryggedsson sisters, Ida and Sofie, added 11 and 10 points respectively.
In the first game, China again played a substitution heavy lineup while cruising to a 94-42 win over Poland. Poland missed countless wide open baskets which would have tightened the final margin, but there was nothing the Poles could do to slow down China’s hot hand from behind the arc as the finished the game 18-of-28 (64 percent) on three-pointers.
The NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars return to the court tomorrow night in the Chenzhou finale looking to avenge their only loss on the tour against China.
Earlier today, the Americans joined the Chinese team in a site seeing venture to the Suxian Mountain Temple and the Paradise Fairy Bridge. The bridge is billed as the largest over-land landscape bridge in the world. The views were great and the temple was very impressive as well. It was a great experience to visit these sites and it was especially nice that we had the opportunity of joining the Chinese team and staff and spending time with them. Though these tours are put together to compete against some of the highest level of international competition, they also present the opportunity to experience and explore the Chinese culture. These are places that very few Americans have the privilege of visiting.
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