Cubans No Match For USA National Team As U.S. Collects 92-60 Victory
-- Sylvia Fowles Collects 25 Points, 18 Rebounds To Pace U.S. Squad --
April 20, 2008 ï¿½ Beijing China
Led by a Herculean effort from Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), who posted 25 points, 18 rebounds and six blocked shots, the 2007-08 USA Basketball Womenï¿½s National Team (1-1) bounced back from its disappointing first loss to earn a 92-60 victory over Cuba (1-1) on Sunday afternoon at the Wukesong Arena in the second game of the 2008 Good Luck Beijing Tournament in China. In addition to Fowlesï¿½ contributions, the USAï¿½s victory was aided by 19 points from Katie Smith (Detroit Shock), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm) tossed in 12, while Crystal Langhorne (Washington Mystics) and Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks) each scored 10 points.
In todayï¿½s other games, South Korea (1-1) defeated New Zealand (0-2) 90-78, while host China (2-0) remained perfect with a 67-64 win over Australia (1-1). Up next for the USA is South Korea on April 21 at 2:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m. EDT).
ï¿½Iï¿½m really pleased with how we came out today, we started the game really well,ï¿½ said USA head coach Anne Donovan. ï¿½It was our focus to start the game very strong and aggressive. We felt like we needed to come right at Cuba and attack them early and we executed that game plan very well.
The USA set the tone early, going up 9-0 from the outset, and continued to roll throughout the game. Shooting a blistering 6-of-6 in the first four minutes, while holding Cuba to just 1-of-7 during that span, by the end of the first quarter the U.S. was up 24-16. Fowles, who joked after the game that she was well rested since she sat most of the game against Australia due to foul trouble, was well on her way to a double-double with six points and seven caroms in the initial period.
Suchitel Avila led Cuba with 17 points, Yayma Boulet had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Yakelyn Plutin rounded out her teamï¿½s double-digit scoring with 11 points.
Earning 52 points in the paint and eight off of Cubaï¿½s 11 turnovers, the U.S. dominated on the glass 57-34 and closed the night with 18 assists and 12 blocked shots. The red, white and blue shot 52.8 percent (38-72 FGs) from the field, including 37.5 from 3-point (6-16 3pt FGs), while limiting Cuba to just 30.2 percent overall.
ï¿½We knocked down some shots. I think (Candice) Wiggins got a couple looks, got a couple shots to go down to get her confidence going,ï¿½ said Smith. ï¿½Lindsey (Harding) got one, Lisa (Leslie), everybody was moving the ball around. We were executing a little bit better so then we got some better looks. I'm excited to get on the floor again tomorrow and keep things rolling.ï¿½
Following a day off, the USA will meet New Zealand on April 23 (10:15 a.m. EDT) and closes preliminary play against host China on April 24 (8:00 a.m. EDT).
On April 26 FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, will host the 2008 Olympic draw (5:30 a.m. EDT) at the Wukesong Arena between the bronze (3:15 a.m. EDT) and gold medal (8:00 a.m EDT) games.
NBA TV will televise live the USAï¿½s game against China, as well as its final game on April 26, and will re-air both of those games at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) the afternoon of the games.
Donovan is being assisted on the sidelines by collegiate head coaches Gail Goestenkors of the University of Texas and Temple Universityï¿½s Dawn Staley. USA assistant coach Mike Thibault (Connecticut Sun) aided in the teamï¿½s pre-Beijing training camp but was unable to join the team in China due to his WNBA coaching duties.