USA National Team Blows Past ASU 82-48
Nov. 8, 2007 ï¿½ Tempe, Ariz.
Behind a balanced scoring attack that featured six players in double digits, including 14 apiece from Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) and Swin Cash (Detroit Shock), the 2007 USA Basketball Womenï¿½s National Team (5-0) overpowered No. 12 Arizona State University 82-48 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Thursday night.
Aiding in the USAï¿½s potent offense, which outscored ASU 48-22 in the second half, were Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks) with 13 points, Kara Braxton (Detroit Shock) and Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs) each scored 12 and Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Los Angeles Sparks) chipped in 10 points.
ï¿½Itï¿½s very important to have (balanced scoring),ï¿½ said Augustus. ï¿½Coming into a game, everyone knows that Diana (Taurasi) is a great shooter, that Sue (Bird) can shoot, Lisaï¿½s inside, sheï¿½s a dominant player inside. So when you have more than one player scoring in double figures it forces the next opponent to think about who they will key in on. They really donï¿½t have an option of the one person to shut down because everybodyï¿½s capable of scoring. Weï¿½re a complete, solid team.ï¿½
ï¿½It was another good challenge for us and another good win for us,ï¿½ said USA and Seattle Storm head coach Anne Donovan. ï¿½Once again, we were challenged in the first half and it took the second half before we could really put them away. Give ASU a lot of credit. They forced a lot of turnovers, 14 for us in the first half, and that scrappy defense they like to play definitely took us out of the flow of our offense.ï¿½
As has been the case much of the tour, the collegians kept pace with the pros for the first part of the contest and with 7:27 to play in the first half the USA held a 21-20 edge. Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) was whistled for a technical foul at the same time Cash was called for a hold. ASU capitalized on the two infractions by collecting its final lead of the game, making 4-of-4 from the line at 6:51 to go up by three, 24-21.
The USA then went inside to McWilliams-Franklin, who scored four straight to put the USA on top for good and spur a 13-2 run, in which she tossed in four more points, to close the half up by eight, 34-26.
Leslie put in six of the squadï¿½s first 10 points of the second stanza and with 14:06 to play the National Team owned a 44-30 lead.
Arizona State gave one final push and cut the deficit to 10 points three times and with 10:21 remaining the scoreboard read 50-40. Turning up the heat on defense, the USA pushed the ball up the court in transition and by 7:30 it was suddenly a 20-point game, 60-40.
ï¿½We decided we were going to start to get out,ï¿½ said Augustus on how her team pulled away. ï¿½We got out in transition, filled the lanes and got layups. We pressured them when they had the ball to try to make every pass difficult. We ended up getting a lot of deflections and steals with that.ï¿½
ASU tried, but couldnï¿½t keep up with the pace of the seasoned vets, who outscored the Sun Devils in all 32-8 over the final 10 minutes of the game.
Leslie pulled down a game-high nine rebounds as the U.S. edged ASU on the glass, 34-32, while Cash passed off for a game-best five assists and Braxton had seven boards and led both teams with five steals.
ASU was led by Briann Januaryï¿½s 14 points.
Dishing out 26 assists on 33 field goals, the U.S. squad forced ASU into 30 turnovers, and committed 18, with just four coming in the second half.
The USA will have two days off before taking on Texas A&M University in College Station on Nov. 11 at 6:00 p.m. Moving west to California for its final two games, Nov. 13 will see the USA pitted against the University of Southern California in Los Angeles at 7:00 p.m., and the USA concludes its tour on Nov. 15 at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., at 7:00 p.m.
Donovan is being assisted by Connecticut Sun head coach Mike Thibault.