China took a come from behind victory over the USBA All-Stars Sunday in Fuling, China, edging the Americans 60-58. It was the third and final game in Fuling District and the teams will continue the tournament in another portion of Chongqing City.
China exploded out of the gate going up 10-2 on the slow starting Americans and led 18-12 after one. However the American team fought through their offensive struggles to take a half-time lead 34-32 behind Rebekah Gardner (UCLA) who led the Americans with 16 points.
With the USA leading by five in the fourth, China made its run. A series of offensive rebounds and free throw opportunities allowed the Chinese to climb back into the game and ultimately gain the lead under one minute to play. The USA got several good looks at the basket but could not get anything to fall and the home team celebrated with a two-point victory. Both squads are 2-1 heading to the next stop while Australia is also 2-1 after defeating rival New Zealand (0-3).
The USA only managed 29% shooting from inside the arc and actually shot better (43%) from behind the 3-pt. line. The major difference statistically was at the Free Throw line where China attempted 21 and the Americans only 6. China committed just 8 fouls while the US were whistled for 21.
Comments from Head Coach, NetScouts Basketball’s Chris Denker:
“China stepped up when they had to and hit 2 big shots and got 4 offensive rebounds down the stretch which really hurt.”
“I was pleased with how our team competed, other than our slow start, but we’ve got to start knocking down open shots, we are executing really well and getting good looks but 29% shooting is hard to overcome, especially on the road in this environment. Casey Garrison had 5 steals and Rebekah Gardner was very good again in many areas. Talisa Rhea had a good night from 3 well as 5 assists and our post player Kali Bennett had 3 assists.”
“It’s really hard to prepare in just 3 practices for the aggressive and physical style that China plays and it clearly bothered us. We had uncharacteristic turnovers and had some bunnies pop out that perhaps we rushed.”
“As the saying goes, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, so we just need to continue to improve, learn each others strengths and weaknesses and gel as a team for the remaining 6 games and I think we’ll be fine. The nice thing is we get to play everyone 2 more times.”
Katie Bussey (Montana State) 3 points, 2 rebounds
Casey Garrison (Missouri State) 4 points, 3 rebounds, 5 steals
Rebekah Gardner (UCLA) 16 points, 4 rebounds
Jasmin Holliday (Oregon) 2 points
Natalie Day (Portland) 9 points, 7 rebounds
Rachael Hackbarth (Drake) 4 points, 4 rebounds
Talisa Rhea (Seattle/Oregon State) 11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
ReZina TecleMariam (Portland) 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Kali Bennett (Arizona State) 2 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Jalana Childs (Kansas State) 7 points, 1 rebound
*Tomorrow is a travel day but the All-Fuling Team will be announced
More photos and coverage can be found from the Fuling newspaper at this link. Additional photos and coverage from last night’s game against New Zealand can be found here. And more photos can be found through this link.
Thanks to all the support from the Fuling media, government and sponsors. It was truly a great experience for everyone involved. We’re looking forward to our next location and round of games.