The team and coaches have returned from China. We have been able to interview the coaches and get the final game story as well as the All-Tournament Teams. We will be posting the All-Tournament Teams later today.)
It was the American defense and efficient shooting that helped them overcome a free throw disparity of 29 Chinese attempts to just 7 for the Americans and a foul difference of 25 to 8 in favor of China. Team USA shot 50% while holding the Chinese National B Team to just 34 % and 12% on three-pointers as they beat the host team 65-55. The win capped an 8-1 tour and overall championship effort for the Americans.
Katie Bussey (Montana St.) came off the bench and led the way with 15 points by attacking the opposing perimeter players early and often, she got the USA going offensively and also hit a big bucket late to seal the win. Casey Garrison had another outstanding overall performance with a double-double, 10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.
The Americans scored late in the first period to scratch out a 20-18 lead and used their “5-in, 5-out, platoon style substitution” plan to wear down the Chinese team who was clearly showing signs of fatigue. The USA transition game kicked into gear and they built an 8-point halftime lead that would grow to 13 after three periods. Strong defense and good guard play helped the Americans hang on down the stretch for the win.
Rachael Hackbarth (Drake) and Jalana Childs (Kansas State) carried the interior offense against the huge Chinese front line with 9 points apiece and fellow post Kali Bennett (Arizona State) captained the defensive effort by blocking 2 shots, changing countless others, and grabbing 7 defensive rebounds.
Comments from Head Coach NetScouts Basketball’s Chris Denker:
“Absolutely one of the best basketball games I’ve been a part of, great atmosphere, 10,000 (listed) fans all cheering for China and our young ladies stuck together, played tough and pulled out a hard fought victory over a very good team.”
“Before the game, after announcing the rosters, the Chinese anthem is played and everyone sings…then ours is played and all 12 of us sing along…sends chills up your spine and I can tell you it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
“Our starters, Z, Bek, Talisa, Jalana, and Kali got us going and it was physical from the jump but then our bench came in and really got the offense flowing. Katie was lights out the last 4 games of the trip and they couldn’t contain her early. We knew they’d jam & hug us off on/balls and we got our players into open spaces and knocked down shots. Team defense and transition was a focal point all trip and it paid off tonight.”
“Bek and T were good again, that tear drop that T hit late was sweet, Bek knocked in two 3’s…ReZina had her BEST game of the trip, 6 points when we were struggling to score and 4 rebounds, she has a real knack of getting boards from the PG spot, and Jaz got us some big boards and finished a fast break with her left that was a big score for us. I felt bad for Nikki, if she even breathed she got a foul but she played hard for us while she was able to tonight and like all of them, she had a TEAM FIRST attitude about everything and we ALL enjoyed the victory celebration!”
Katie Bussey (Montana State) 15 points, 1 assist, 3 steals
Casey Garrison (Missouri State) 10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Rebekah Gardner (UCLA) 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals
Jasmin Holliday (Oregon) 4 points, 4 rebounds
Nikki Day (Portland) 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Rachael Hackbarth (Drake) 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Talisa Rhea (Seattle U) 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
ReZina TecleMariam (Portland) 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
Kali Bennett (Arizona State) 2 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists
Jalana Childs (Kansas State) 9 points, 5 rebounds
USA (8-1), CHINA NATIONAL B TEAM (2-1), CHINA JR. NATIONAL TEAM (4-2), AUSTRALIA (4-5), NEW ZEALAND (0-9)
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.