2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
To hear it from the coach and the players of the USA Women's U18 National Team after their 58-39 exhibition win over Canada at Fort Carson on Sunday, something came together in the second half. And that something might just be the team itself. �

USA Women's U18 National Team Pulls Away From Canada For 58-39 Exhibition Win

Colorado Springs, Colo. - June 20, 2010

Box Score

To hear it from the coach and the players of the 2010 USA Women's U18 National Team after their 58-39 exhibition win over Canada at Fort Carson on Sunday, something came together in the second half. And that something might just be the team itself.

After a slow first half in which Canada stayed within four points, 19-15 at the break, the USA pulled away in the second, outscoring their opponent 38-24 over the third and fourth quarters.

'We gave everybody an opportunity in the first half, and we just really never had a flow,' said USA U18 and University of Hartford head coach Jennifer Rizotti. 'And so in the second half, we just got a really good group out there that was clicking offensively and defensively. We probably haven't had that for a lot of stretches, because when you try to play twelve people, that's what happens.'

Chiney Ogwumike (Cy-Fair H.S./Cypress, Texas) led the USA with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Bria Hartley (North Babylon H.S./North Babylon, N.Y.) added 10 points, three assists and four steals. Stefanie Dolson (Minisink Valley H.S/Port Jervis, N.Y.) added six points and six rebounds, while Alexis Jones ( MacArthur H.S./Irving, Texas) and Kayla McBride (Villa Maria Academy/Erie, Pa.) also scored six points apiece.

'In the second half, I think we found that one thing that worked for us,' Ogwumike said. 'We ran with it and started executing our offense. And we started looking for each other first instead of playing one-on-one, individual basketball. When we played as a team, worked hard to make one good offensive possession and one good defensive possession, we had better sets.'

Michelle Plouffe led Canada with 10 points and eight rebounds.

The USA now returns to training until the start of the FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women, which will be played June 23-17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The red, white and blue opens play against Argentina at 5:45 (MDT) on June 23 in Sports Center I.

Read below what USA and Univeristy of Hartford head coach Jennifer Rizzotti and seven of the U.S. team members have to say about Sunday's scrimmage the the upcoming tournament.

Jenn RizzottiJennifer Rizzotti
USA and University of Hartford head coach

What are your thoughts on Canada?
It was a great opportunity to scrimmage Canada and get a look at them. We have a lot of respect for them, and their toughness and their ability to execute. They play really hard, and they make it hard for us to score. I was pleased to have a chance to see them, and I thought it was good for us to have a close game early because I wanted to see how we would respond to that, and I was happy with our response in the second half.

What goals did you have coming into this scrimmage, and do you feel like you met those goals?
We've talked about starting to separate the guys that are really understanding what we are trying to do and playing the hardest. We gave everybody an opportunity in the first half, and we just really never had a flow. And so in the second half, we just got a really good group out there that was clicking offensively and defensively. We probably haven't had that for a lot of stretches, because when you try to play twelve people, that's what happens. It was good to see Canada. They are tough competition as always, and it will give us some good motivation going forward that we still can work on and improve a lot of things.

Do you feel like your team is ready for the tournament?
Yeah, I think we've been here a long time, and we are anxious to get playing. The scrimmages certainly help point out some weaknessess and some things we can work on, but I think once we put those uniforms on, that level of intensity and excitement will be even higher.

Stephanie DolsonStefanie Dolson
(Minisink Valley H.S./Port Jervis, NY)

What did you think of today's performance?
I think we played pretty well. I think we played better than we have been playing. I think we haven't reached our potential yet, and I think we still have a lot to work on before our game on Wednesday, and we have a few practices to iron them out.

Bria Hartley
(North Babylon H.S./North Babylon, NY)

How do you feel after today's exhibition?
I think we're starting to come together as a team. I think we did a lot better in the second half. We have to just keep improving and get better everyday in practice and make sure we go hard for Coach Rizzotti.

What was the difference in the second half?
I guess the second half we just started clicking more and made sure we executed more on offense, and just made sure we got stops on defense. I think we're definitely headed in the right direction, and we just want to keep going forward.

Are you excited to get the tournament started on Wednesday?
I can't wait. I'm excited. It's going to be really fun.

Alexis JonesAlexis Jones
(MacArthur H.S./Irving, TX)

Did you feel like the USA played it's toughest against Canada today?
First quarter and second quarter no I don't, but the third quarter and fourth quarter, I think we got better. We played better defense, and pushed the ball and made our shots.

Do you feel like you are ready for the tournament, which starts in three days?
I feel like we are ready to play, but we still have some things we need to polish in the two days of practice we have left. I feel like we are ready.

How has this experience affected your game?
It's made me better and helped me get over my high school ways and play big-girl basketball. I take pride in getting better, and as we practice I have gotten used to the college coaches and gotten better at responding to what they want.

Allyson MalottAlly Malott
(Madison H.S./Middletown, OH)

What are your thoughts on Canada?
In the beginning, we kind of came out pretty slow, and I thought our defensive intensity was half there. Towards the second half, I think we picked it up and showed what we could be. We showed our full potential in spurts.

Do you think this team is close to where it wants to be?
We have moments of really good defensive and offensive sets, but I still think we have to pull it all together.

Are you enjoying this expereince?
Obviously, everyone is exhausted, and two-a-day practices take a toll, but I'm having fun. Just the whole expereince I'm having fun with. Even in practice and the dorms, with all the girls, it's just been fun.

Kayla McBrideKayla McBride
(Villa Maria Academy/Erie, PA)

Did you enjoy the scrimmage against Canada?
Playing Canada, they play more of our style, so it was a lot easier to adjust to, and I think it was competitive because of the Canada - USA rivalry. It was a lot of fun.

Do you think this team has a lot of work to do before the tournament?
I think it's just day-by-day. Every day we go into practice, and we get a little bit better and a little bit better. It's showing in our scrimmages. I think we are getting there -- getting to the point where we are the team that is going to win the gold medal.

Chiney OgwumikeChiney Ogwumike
(Cy-Fair H.S./Cypress, TX)

How do you feel after today's exhibition?
I was really happy that we got our last game in, because it was our way to fine-tune everything and work on our unity as a team. Even though we did turn the ball over, we did learn a lot about our cohesion.

What was the difference in today's second half?
The second half, I think we found that one thing that worked for us, and we ran with it and started executing our offense. And we started looking for each other first instead of playing one-on-one, individual basketball. When we played as a team, worked hard to make one good offensive possession and one good defensive possession, we had better sets.

How do you feel about the team overall right now?
I feel like right now we're learning who we are and what we're good at. Now, our next goal is to bring that energy to every possession.

Cassie PeoplesCassie Peoples
(Cy-Fair H.S./Houston, TX)

What are your thoughts on Canada?
I thought we started off really slowly. Towards the second half, I think everyone picked it up.

Was it fun to play at Fort Carson?
It was nice to get off the (U.S. Olympic Training Center) complex because we've spent a lot of time there. It was great.

Does this look like a different team than it did on June 11?
I think every day we are improving, and we are trying to perfect the things that we are working on. I think we are getting better at some of the things we are doing, but we are still trying to get better and we are still trying to be perfect.