The USA All-Stars had five players score in double figures and three more with eight points as they beat New Zealand 84-36 to win the tournament being played in China. They finished with a 7-1 record and have one remaining game tomorrow night against the Chinese National “B” Team, a team made up of Olympic alternates and future Olympians.
Assistant Coach Ryan Johnson made his Head Coaching debut as he and Chris Denker swapped duties for the night. The Americans helped Johnson settle in as they jumped out to a 26-6 first quarter lead.
The US squad won the battle of the boards 34-22, had 13 steals, and forced 21 turnovers. They also got their legs back after a brief struggle shooting yesterday they shot 56% from the floor on this night.
In the early game, the Chinese National B Team ran away from the Aussies in the fourth period to a commanding win. The score wasn’t indicative of how close the game really was. The Aussies trailed by only 4 points mid-way through the 3rd period and when both teams went to their benches the much deeper, more experienced Chinese squad opened up the lead and continued that trend through the 4th quarter.
Comments from Head Coach, NetScouts Basketball’s Chris Denker:
“First off, Ryan did a great job tonight. He put good combinations on the floor and managed the game well, got us into good offensive sets and changed up our defenses a bit which created turnovers, he has done a nice job all trip and deserved this chance, I’m glad it worked out like this.”
“I thought our team played very unselfishly tonight but at the same time aggressive. We took open shots and knocked them down but also worked hard on execution and had assists on over half of our 33 buckets.”
“We’ve really come a long way in a short period of time and our kids seem to know one another quite well and know our offense and defense and where to capitalize on things our opponents may do. It’s been fun to watch.”
“We’re really looking forward to playing the China B Team tomorrow night, we know it’ll be a tough game and we are excited for the challenge.”
Katie Bussey (Montana State) 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Casey Garrison (Missouri State) 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Rebekah Gardner (UCLA) 8 points, 3 steals
Jasmin Holliday (Oregon) 13 points, 3 rebounds
Nikki Day (Portland) 8 points, 3 rebounds
Rachael Hackbarth (Drake) 12 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals
Talisa Rhea (Seattle U) 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
ReZina TecleMariam (Portland) *injured early 2nd half, she’s fine and will play Monday (1 rebound, 2 assists)
Kali Bennett (Arizona State) 2 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal, 2 assists
Jalana Childs (Kansas State) 8 points, 4 rebounds
You can read Coach Ryan Johnson’s blog from this link. There are some great pictures of the areas visited in China as well as more game info.