The American team opened action in Xiangyang with a 66-39 victory over Australia which completes the sweep and moves them to 6-1 on the trip. The Aussies fell to 3-4 on the tour. Each team has one game to play and one exhibition game to play.
The exhibition will be against the Chinese National B Team comprised of players who will be the alternates for the London Olympic Games team and the Chinese future Olympic team for Brazil 2016. This squad played New Zealand tonight and won convincingly (108-44) however the Kiwi’s will take away tremendous experience from playing a team the caliber of this one.
The USA All-Stars opened up a 37-21 halftime lead behind Talisa Rhea’s (Seattle U.) 11 points and their fast breaking offense. They then picked up their defense by holding the Aussies to just nine points in each of the last two periods. Rhea finished with 12 points, Katie Bussey (Montana St.) and Nikki Day (Portland) had 10 each. Rachael Hackbarth (Drake) had nine boards while Casey Garrison (Missouri St.) and Kali Bennett (Arizona St.) had seven apiece.
The Americans will now play New Zealand in the last game of their tournament action and then play their exhibition game against the China B’s on Monday night.
Comments from Head Coach NetScouts Basketball’s Chris Denker:
“With the length of the trip and travel we were a bit sluggish tonight, didn’t really have our legs which showed in our shooting as much as anything but our squad plays hard. They worked defensively and came up with 15 steals and out rebounded the Aussies 39-25 including 20 Offensive Boards…we said, if we miss every shot we may as well go get ’em!”
“Katie Bussey is really starting to play good ball and she and Talisa hit two 3’s each. But offensively for us it was really about balance again, good inside outside action and these kids really share the ball well.”
Katie Bussey (Montana State) 10 points
Casey Garrison (Missouri State) 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals
Rebekah Gardner (UCLA) 6 points, 4 rebounds
Jasmin Holliday (Oregon) 5 points, 3 rebounds
Nikki Day (Portland) 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Rachael Hackbarth (Drake) 7 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals
Talisa Rhea (Seattle U/Oregon State) 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
ReZina TecleMariam (Portland) 1 point, 3 steals
Kali Bennett (Arizona State) 4 points, 7 boards, 2 steals
Jalana Childs (Kansas State) 5 points, 2 rebounds
**All 3 teams will have an outing on Sunday including a public appearance in the city for local children.
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.