USA Women’s National Team Faces China To Open FIBA World Championship
The USA Basketball Women's National Team opens play in the 2014 FIBA World Championship with a game against China on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV, ESPN3).
China features just two athletes from China’s 2012 Olympic squad, which finished in sixth place with a 3-3 record. With several top veterans retiring, China’s team is young, but not without experience as eight of their players helped China capture the bronze medal at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.
The last time these two teams faced in senior-level international competition was the final game of preliminary round play at the 2012 Olympics as the USA, behind 22 points from Diana Taurasi, took a 114-66 victory.
In World Championship play, the two teams matched up most recently in 2006. The U.S. opened with a 119-72 rout of China in a game that was never in doubt, and the USA was led by Sue Bird's 20 points, while Tina Thompson and Taurasi each poured in 17 points as every U.S. athlete scored and five players were in double digits.
China is being coached by international veteran Tom Maher, who coached Australia to its first Olympic medal with a bronze at the Atlanta Olympics and headed up Australia’s silver-medal finish in Sydney. Following that, he coached New Zealand to its best Olympic finish -- eighth place -- in Athens, headed up China’s fourth-place finish in Beijing, was hired to coach Great Britain in 2012 and then was rehired by China to lead its national team through the Rio Games. He also served a stint as head coach of the Washington Mystics in 2001.
USA Basketball women are 28-1 all-time against China in official FIBA, FIBA Americas, Pan American Games and World University Games competitions through the 2014 U17 World Championship, with the lone 75-73 loss coming at in the 1993 World University Games. Facing a veteran China team that included seven members of its silver medal 1992 Olympic team, the U.S. squad's comeback effort fell one basket short of victory when Adrienne Goodson's 3-point attempt failed to drop as time expired and the U.S. fell 75-73 in the semifinals. The USA went on to claim bronze.
At top-level events, the USA owns a 6-0 upper hand over China in the Olympic Games and a 4-0 advantage at the FIBA World Championship.
CHINA IN THE FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
FIBA world ranking: 8.
How China qualified: 2013 FIBA Asia Championship bronze medalist (4-3).
World Championship appearances: 8 (1983, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010).
World Championship overall record: 34-39 (.466).
World Championship medals: 1 silver medal (1994), 1 bronze medal (1983).
Key players in 2013 FIBA Asia Championship (players in bold are on this year’s team): Nan Chen (12.7 ppg., 4.1 rpg.), Song Gao (13.7 ppg., 6.6 rpg.), Wen Lu (9.9 ppg., 2.9 rpg.).
USA vs. China at the World Championship: 4-0.
2012 Olympic finish: 6th place (3-3).
CHINA’S FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINISHES
Year Record Medal/Finish
2010 2- 3 13th Place
2006 3- 5 12th Place
2002 5- 4 6th Place
1998 3- 5 12th Place
1994 5- 3 Silver Medal
1990 5- 3 9th Place
1986 5- 2 5th Place
1983 6- 4 Bronze Medal
Total 34-39 (.466) 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
USA vs. CHINA ALL-TIME AT THE FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
USA 119, China 72 (2006)
USA 70, China 54 (1998)
USA 99, China 74 (1986)
USA 101, China 91 (1983 in overtime)