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Despite receiving 18 points and nine rebounds from Janel McCarville, the USA Basketball Women�s Select Team�s (3-2) shots wouldn�t fall and it suffered a disappointing 75-65 loss to CSKA Moscow (4-1), one of Europe�s top pro teams, on Saturday nig

USA Basketball Women�s Select Team Falls To CSKA Moscow 75-65 In FIBA World League Championship Game

Oct. 27, 2007 � Ekaterinburg, Russia

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Despite receiving 18 points and nine rebounds from Janel McCarville (New York Liberty), the USA Basketball Women�s Select Team�s (3-2) shots wouldn�t fall and it suffered a disappointing 75-65 loss to CSKA Moscow (4-1), one of Europe�s top pro teams, on Saturday night in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The USA also received eight points and 10 rebounds from Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Los Angeles Sparks) in the 2007 FIBA World League Tournament�s championship game.

 

�This was a disappointing loss,� said USA and Seattle Storm head coach Anne Donovan. �We knew we had to hold them to a lower scoring output and we did that, we kept them in the mid-70�s, but we just couldn�t put the ball in the hole very well tonight. I don�t know if it was fatigue or the fifth game in six days, but we just didn�t play our best that�s for sure. Offensively we didn�t make shots, we had some turnovers at the wrong times when we were trying to make a run. It just wasn�t our night.�

           

CSKA built a 17-14 lead following a first quarter battle. Receiving three treys from Spaniard Amaya Valdemoro, MVP of the 2007 FIBA Europe Championship, CSKA expanded that to a 10-point, 32-22, advantage four minutes into the second quarter.

 

�Today�s game was tough,� said Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), who had nine points, four assists and was awarded the trophy as the best guard of the tournament. �They came out very aggressive and they forced us into a lot of turnovers early on and they were able to run on those. That really set a tone for them. For us, it wasn�t our best game, but we never gave up. We kept coming back, trying to cut the lead. We just got into a hole early and weren�t able to dig ourselves out of it.�

 

The USA, which committed seven of its 11 turnovers in the first half, called a time out following Valdemoro�s third three. Returning to the court with a determined focus, the Americans strung together eight straight points, four coming from McCarville, and narrowed the deficit to two points, 32-30, with 3:42 to play before halftime.

 

However, each time the U.S. began fully firing on all cylinders and making a run, CSKA countered. This time it was a pair of Russian Olympians, Ilona Korstin and Maria Stepanova, who scored four apiece to close out the half on an 8-3 spurt and give their squad a 40-34 edge at the midway break.

 

CSKA, behind six points from Stepanova, reeled off eight unanswered points to open the second half. Katie Smith (Detroit Shock) drained her second three of the game to break the scoring drought and start an 11-4 run by the Americans that cut into CSKA�s double-digit lead, 52-45, with 14:40 to play in the game.

           

Again CSKA stabbed back and by the end of the third quarter the USA trailed 64-52. No matter how hard they tried, the Americans were only able to close to eight points, 66-58, with a little more than five minutes remaining. CSKA, however, was as sharp as a team gets and netted back-to-back 3-pointers. The determined Americans would not give up, getting the score back to single digits, 63-72 with two minutes to go. But time was not on their side as CSKA Moscow took the win and the tournament title.

 

�It�s just USA Basketball,� said McCarville on the USA�s determined effort. �I don�t think any one of us wanted to give up at any point in that game. All the way down to the wire everybody thought we had a chance and anything could have happened. We know to play through the runs and give it our best from tip to finish.�

 

The USA�s shooting woes resulted in the team�s worst shooting performance of the tournament as the squad shot 34.8 percent for the night, while CSKA Moscow connected on 42.4 percent of its attempts from the field. The USA was also outrebounded 43-32, but only had 11 turnovers while forcing the Russian pro squad into 18.

 

Stepanova and Korstin scored 16 points apiece, while Ann Wauters had 11 points and 15 rebounds.

 

In today�s other games Basketball Club Havana (2-3) edged TEO Vilnius (2-3) 78-73 to take seventh place, MiZo P�cs 2010 (2-3) finished fifth with a 73-38 thumping of Canberra Capitals (1-4) and host UMMC Ekaterinburg (4-1) took third after defeating CBA Beijing (2-3) 84-76.

 

The Connecticut Sun�s Mike Thibault, also an assistant coach for the 2006-08 USA Basketball National Team, assisted Donovan along the sidelines in Russia.

 

USA Basketball is the national governing body responsible for men�s and women�s basketball in the United States and is responsible for representing the USA in international competitions. The USA Basketball Select Team consists of eight players from the 2007-08 USA Basketball Senior National Team who are candidates for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team.