USA Wraps Up Preliminary Round With Record-Setting 119-44 Rout Of Angola
• VIDEO: Game Recap
• VIDEO: Seimone Augustus
The 2014 USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team (3-0) completely overpowered Angola (0-3) for a record-setting 119-44 win to wrap up preliminary round play in the 2014 FIBA World Championship on Tuesday night at Abdi Ipekci Arena in Istanbul, Turkey.
The 75-point win was the USA women's largest margin of victory in FIBA World Championship play, and it tied for the most points scored by a U.S. team in a World Championship. Further, the USA’s 8-of-13 performance from 3-point, helped along by 3-of-4 shooting from Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), who finished with 16 points, was a USA World Championship record for 3-point percentage (.615). The team also tied the assists record with 32 dimes, led by six from Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx). Additionally, Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut), who had nine points and six rebounds, set a U.S. World Championship record by shooting 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
The USA will advance to the FIBA World Championship quarterfinals on Oct. 3 (time TBD) against the Oct. 1 winner of France (2-1), the No. 2 seed out of Group B, versus Brazil (1-2), the No. 3 seed out of Group A.
“If we had won by this much and we had played really poorly, and we had won by this much, it’s because we have more talent than Angola, I’d be a little disappointed,” said USA head coach Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut). “But, I thought we played really, really well. I thought our offensive chemistry was really good. The ball moved really well. We got the ball in the lane a lot.”
Along with Moore, four other players reached double-digit scoring, including 18 points and 10 rebounds from Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); 15 points from Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx); 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots from Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); and 10 points and four assists from Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream).
“I thought it was good,” Ogwumike said of the game. “We came in focusing on ourselves. Coach has been saying, no matter who we are playing, we have to focus on ourselves the whole time to get better, and I thought we did a good job of maintaining that all four quarters.”
The USA quickly built a 12-0 advantage, and by the time Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) hit a 3-pointer at 4:37, all five U.S. starters had scored and the lead was 19-3. The USA was a red-hot 14-of-20 from the field (.700) in the first period, including two 3-pointers from Moore, and in the first 10 minutes alone, Taurasi had five assists. At the first break, the Americans were up 33-11.
The USA’s second unit, which all had checked into the game at 2:57 in the first quarter, started the second with the same pace, and by the time Ogwumike completed a three-point play at 6:59, the lead had grown to 45-15. Odyssey Sims (Tulsa Shock) and Stewart took the floor at 6:27 to mark playing time for all 12 players. While the USA raced to 16 more points, Angola managed a score from the field, sinking two 3-pointers and a pair of free throws to make it 61-25 at halftime.
The USA remained an impressive 70.0 percent (23-33 FGs) from the field through the first 20 minutes.
“It started with the starting five,” Augustus said. “They brought great energy, and it trickled down to the second five. We just wanted to come out and maintain what the starting five established on the floor.”
After a score from each team to start the second half, the USA put together a 13-0 streak to lead 77-27 at 4:23. Angola made a 3-pointer to end the streak, but the USA picked right up where it had left off, closing the third quarter with a 15-1 run to head into the final 10 minutes leading 92-31.
When Whalen nailed a jumper at 2:50 in the third quarter, all 12 U.S. players had contributed points.
The USA went on to outscore Angola 27-13 in the fourth period.
The game marked the USA's 100th victory in FIBA World Championship play and the 18th time a U.S. team has scored 100 or more points in a World Championship game.
The USA, which finished the game shooting 61.4 percent (43-70 FGs), compiled a 57-20 rebounding advantage and forced Angola into 21 turnovers, which it converted into 27 points. While Angola scored no second chance points, the USA racked up 21, while also adding 18 points off of the fast break and 74 points off the bench.
The USA committed only 11 personal fouls to limit Angola to 5-of-8 (.625) from the line.
“We want to concentrate on a few things that we think we’ve got to get better at, and we did,” Auriemma said. “We were a little worried that we weren’t getting the ball in the lane enough, and tonight in that first quarter, that ball got into the lane a lot and often, and early in the possession. And the other thing was that we wanted to defensively stay out of the bonus, because that’s been hurting us a little bit, keep the ball out of the lane, because that was hurting us a little bit. And I thought we did a great job on both counts.”
In today’s other games, in the USA’s Group D, Serbia (2-1) edged past China (1-2) 65-63; while also in Istanbul, Group C saw Australia (3-0) coast by Belarus (2-1) 87-45, and Cuba (1-2) beat South Korea (0-3). In Ankara, Turkey, Group A saw Brazil (1-2) get its first win against Japan (0-3) 79-56, and Spain (3-0) remain undefeated with a 67-43 victory over Czech Republic (2-1); and in Group B, Turkey (3-0) beat Mozambique (0-3) 64-54 and France (2-1) topped Canada (1-2) 63-59.
Along with the USA, teams finishing No. 1 in their respective preliminary round groups and advancing directly to the quarterfinals are Australia, Spain and Turkey.
And while the USA will play the winner of France – Brazil (12 p.m. EDT), the three other quarterfinal play-in games on Oct. 1 will feature Belarus versus China (12:15 p.m. EDT), Serbia against Cuba (2:30 p.m. EDT), and Czech Republic versus Canada (9:15 a.m. EDT).
Exiting the 2014 FIBA World Championship are Angola, Japan, Mozambique and South Korea.
Auriemma is being assisted on the sideline by DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno, Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve and University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley; while University of Hartford head coach Jennifer Rizzotti serves as an advance scout and court coach for the 2014 USA squad.
The USA owns a record eight gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Championship play, while compiling an all-time 100-21 record at the event. In 2010, the most recent World Championship, the U.S. finished with a perfect 9-0 record and the gold medal.
STAT NOTES: The USA held Angola to 25.4 percent from the field (16-63 FGs) … Sue Bird has now played more FIBA World Championship games for the USA than any other player in history. She was tied at 27 before tonight's game with Tamika Catchings (2002, 2006, 2010), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1998, 2002, 2006) and Katie Smith (1998, 2002, 2006) … Prior to tonight, the USA had defeated teams by 50 or more points six times in FIBA World Championship play, the largest of which was a 70-point, 106-36, victory over Senegal in 1990. The USA also defeated South Korea by 62 points (106-44 in 2010), Lithuania by 57 (105-48 in 2002), Senegal by 56 (108-52 in 2010), Taiwan by 53 (105-52 in 1990) and New Zealand by 50 points (97-47 in 1994).