Nicky Day (Portland) had 15 points while Rebekah Gardner (UCLA) continued to play well in China with 12 points. For the second night in a row the American team had balanced scoring (all ten scored) and saw contributions from every member in some fashion. Oregon’s Jasmin Holliday, a high school teammate of Gardner’s, had 8 rebounds while Kali Bennett (Arizona State), Rachael Hackbarth (Drake), and ReZina TecleMariam (Portland) had 6 boards each. Hackbarth’s effort included 5 offensive rebounds which ignited the American offense in the second half when they began to assert themselves inside the painted area.
Once again the USA defense played a key factor in the outcome of the game by forcing 26 turnovers and out rebounding the Kiwi’s 42-20.
The final game in Fuling will pit the Americans agains the home team, China at 9pm.
Comments from Head Coach, NetScouts Basketball’s Chris Denker
We started out a bit sluggish but give credit to the New Zealand bunch, they really came at us hard and played well in the first half. They particularly shot the ball well while we struggled to get shots to fall. I really felt like our effort picked up in the second half and we forced them into some turnovers which got our break going.
Ryan (Assistant Coach Ryan Johnson of Northern Colorado) and I really emphasized the importance of finishing possessions with a rebound and we had some players really going after the ball. Early in the 3rd, Z (ReZina) got back to back loose ball rebounds and that got everyone going. We also focused more on getting the ball inside to our posts who cannot only score but are also good passers and it really opened things up for us offensively.
T (Talisa Rhea, Seattle) was really good again tonight as was Bek (Gardner) and Katie Bussey made a couple of really nice plays in transition that I think will sort of break the ice for her and get her going.
I’ve also been impressed by how well this group is adjusting on the fly to whatever we throw at them. They’ve had a GREAT attitude, really seem to be enjoying themselves, their teammates, and the overall experience.
So here’s the real scoop, we only got 5 minutes of actual warm-up time after the China vs. Australia game went a bit long so maybe that is why we were so sluggish. Our hosts told me that perhaps we should go outside and do some warmup drills so I’ve requested a hoop be brought out to the parking lot tomorrow night in case that happens. I was only kidding of course.
As far as I know, nobody tried the “Goose Intestine” on the lunch buffet but some players tried the Cow’s Tongue. I won’t name names, I just know they have more guts than I do.
Ryan is totally loving the food scene here, in fact he’s trying to eat soup with chopsticks.
Our team Hostess/Translator/Biggest Fan is a young woman named Fanny. She is awesome. The girls have really taken to her and I do believe Nicky is trying to sort out how we can sneak Fanny into her suitcase to bring with us to the next stop.
The drivers in this town honk their horns more than any other collective group of people alive, I am convinced of that.
We’ll be posting more photos as the trip progresses. We have some nice ones of the local area that I’ll try to get up later. For more photos (Lots!) you can check out the Fuling newspaper from this link. You can also read about (and look at photos) of the China-Australia contest from this link. Enjoy!
Katie Bussey (Montana State) 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
ReZina TecleMariam (Portland) 6 points, 6 rebounds
Talisa Rhea (Seattle) 9 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals
Casey Garrison (Missouri State) 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assist, 1 steal
Rebekah Gardner (UCLA) 12 points, 2 steals
Jasmin Holliday (Oregon) 4 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals
Natalie Day (Portland) 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals
Jalana Childs (Kansas State) 2 points, 3 offensive rebounds, 2 blocks
Rachael Hackbarth (Drake) 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
Kali Bennett (Arizona State) 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks