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2006 USA Women's Senior National Team Eclipses Australia 56-49

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Durham, North Carolina • Sept. 7, 2006


The 2006 USA Women's Senior National Team exacted a bit of revenge over Australia after fighting to a 56-49 defensive battle on Sept. 7 on Coach K Court at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.

The USA was led by Tina Thompson's (Houston Comets) double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds as the squad capped its 10-day Durham training camp.

"We have been focusing on our defense a lot which is a tough thing to buy into, and I thought the girls did a great job with that end," said USA and Seattle Storm head coach Anne Donovan. "Offensively we stayed with just our motion offense for the most part so you didn't see a lot of variation of what we ran and I thought we did a good job, considering that one offensive set. I was really pleased with the effort. This was a great environment for us. I know Alana Beard was excited to be back. What a great place to play."

The game was tight affair all the way. With 25 seconds to play in the first quarter, Australia was up by one, 13-12. However, with six seconds remaining on the first quarter clock Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), playing on her collegiate home court, hit a jumper, and the Americans never again trailed.

"It was a great feeling being back,' said Beard. 'I started getting hyped when the band starting playing when we were out there warming up. I started reminiscing about being out there, starting in the games. So that was really exciting for me."

By the 8:49 mark in the second period the USA's lead was back to one, 16-15. For close to two minutes neither team was able to convert and at 6:42 Thompson ended the scoring drought by sinking a pair from the stripe. That was followed by a 3-pointer from DeLisha Milton-Jones (Washington Mystics) and a bucket from Thompson as the USA went up 23-15 with 5:01 remaining before the intermission.

Again the defensive intensity on both ends of the court stifled the scoring until Australia's Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm sank a pair of free throws with 38 seconds left before halftime. Taurasi finished off the first half's scoring with a layup, and when the buzzer sounded the U.S. was in the lead 25-17.

Opening the third quarter with an 8-0 run, Australia tied the game at 25-all. But five U.S. players scored in a 16-2 run that gave the USA its largest lead of the night, 41-27, with 3:37 to play in the third quarter.

Although the USA held Australia scoreless for close to four minutes (4:54 to 1:18) of the third quarter, the Americans couldn't get things going on the offensive end, and at the end of three periods the USA's lead was 41-31.

Forcing the USA into missed shots and turnovers, Australia scratched its way back and with 2:16 to go the USA lead was down to five, 50-45.

The U.S. refused to let the Aussies get any closer, and the American women finished with the 56-49 win.

"I think (our motion offense) was going a little stagnant," said Thompson. "We have a lot of new faces on our team, and sometimes we're faced with a little unfamiliarity and I think sometimes players were trying to be a little bit too unselfish at times, passing up shots.

"I was most proud of our defense, we didn't score as much offensively as we had been in practice. But defensively we held them. So if we're not scoring, it's great if we can keep the other team from not scoring as well."

In addition to Thompson's double-double, Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) posted 10 points, while Milton-Jones finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Thompson and Candace Parker (Tennessee / Naperville, Ill.) each had three blocked shots.

Australia's Penny Taylor of the Phoenix Mercury scored a high of 14 points for her squad, Kristi Harrower grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds and Jackson was held to just seven points.

Neither team connected well on their shots from the field as the USA posted 35.9 percent (23-64 FGs) shooting and Australia was at 31.6 percent (18-57 FGs). The USA edged its opponents in the rebounding column, 43-39. The two teams' defensive efforts produced 35 turnovers, 20 on Australia and 15 on the USA.

Two members of the USA and WNBA Detroit Shock squad, Cheryl Ford and Katie Smith, were not available because Detroit was involved in Game 5 of the 2006 WNBA Finals against Sacramento on Sept. 9. Also, Sheryl Swoopes (Houston Comets) did not compete because of back spasms.

USA 56, Australia 49
September 7, 2006
AUS
MIN
FG
FT
R
A
PF
PTS
Taylor
29
6-13
0- 1
6
1
2
14
Snell
14
2- 8
0- 0
3
0
0
5
Jackson
21
2- 8
3- 4
6
1
3
7
Whittle
11
1- 3
0- 0
0
0
2
2
Harrower
24
2- 4
2- 2
10
4
1
7
Phillips
14
1- 3
1- 2
1
1
1
4
Bevilaqua
18
1- 5
0- 0
3
0
3
2
Screen
13
0- 0
0- 0
1
1
1
0
Randall
7
0- 2
0- 0
0
0
1
0
Grima
19
2- 5
2- 2
2
0
1
6
Summerton
20
1- 6
0- 0
1
1
1
2
McInerny
11
0- 0
0- 0
2
3
0
0
Totals
200
18-57
8-11
39
12
16
49
USA
MIN
FG
FT
R
A
PF
PTS
Milton-Jones
23
4-10
0- 0
7
0
3
9
Catchings
31
2- 7
0- 2
2
1
1
4
Thompson
22
6-15
2- 2
11
1
0
15
Bird
26
3- 6
0- 0
2
3
1
6
Taurasi
21
4- 8
0- 0
1
2
2
10
Beard
33
3- 6
0- 0
2
0
1
7
Augustus
13
0- 2
0- 0
2
1
1
0
Snow
17
1- 2
0- 0
3
0
2
2
Parker
15
0- 6
1- 2
5
0
3
1
Pondexter
11
0- 2
2- 2
3
1
0
2
Swoopes
DNP
Totals
200
23-64
5- 8
43
9
14
56
Australia 13 4 14 18 -- 49
USA 14 11 16 15 -- 56
3-PT FGs-Australia (5-14): Snell 1-4, Taylor 2-3, Harrower 1-3, Phillips 1-1, Jackson 0-1, Summerton 0-1, Whittle 0-1; USA (5-16): Thompson 1-4, Taurasi 2-3, Beard 1-3. Catchings 0-3, Milton-Jones 1-2, Bird 0-1; TO-Australia 20, USA 15; BLKS-Australia 2, USA 8; STLS-Australia 9,
USA 10.

 

 

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