USA National Team Members Back in Action in Europe, China
Four 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team members are currently competing in China (Candice Dupree, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Maya Moore); 11 are in the EuroLeague (DeWanna Bonner, Tina Charles, Glory Johnson, Jantel Lavender, Angel McCoughtry, Chiney Ogwumike, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Danielle Robinson, Diana Taurasi and Courtney Vandersloot); three are currently competing in EuroCup competition (Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley, Kayla McBride) and two are still in college (Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Breanna Stewart). The remaining athletes are either staying in the United States during the WNBA off-season or have not yet reported to an overseas team.
Every Thursday throughout the 2014-15 season, USA Basketball will report on the progress of the athletes competing overseas and in NCAA action.
The 2014-15 EuroLeague season tipped-off on Nov. 5, and the games saw some nail biters, comebacks and several outstanding performances from members of the 2014-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team. Meanwhile, in China, the WBCA has rolled up three weeks of action and three teams remain undefeated, including two-time defending champion Shanxi Sharks (2-0), led by Maya Moore. As for the three rookies competing in EuroCup action, they played their first game as a European professional today and did not disappoint in their debut.
Below are recaps (in order) from the NCAA, China, EuroCup and the EuroLeague. Check back weekly to see how each player is progressing through the season.
NCAA - UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
2013-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach Geno Auriemma and his Huskies, including USA National Team members Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart, open play on Nov. 14 at UC Davis. They defeated Auriemma’s alma mater, West Chester, 115-26 in an exhibition contest on Nov. 2 and play Post University in a second exhibition on Nov. 9.
This week both Mosqueda-Lewis and Stewart were named to the 2014-15 Associated Press Preseason All-America Team and were also tabbed American Athletic Conference Preseason first team. The Huskies will start the season ranked No. 1 in the nation.
CHINA ROUND 3
Candice Dupree: Dupree scored 20 points and had six boards for Zhejiang Far East (0-3) in its first game and 14 points and three rebounds its second game. On Nov. 6, Dupree led her team with a double-double of 21 points and 15 rebounds, but Zhejiang was edged 84-78 by Sichuan (1-2).
Sylvia Fowles: Helped Shanghai Octopus to a 3-0 record to open the season, including a 26-point, 14-rebound performance to lead Shanghai to a close, 87-85, win over Bayi (2-1) in her most recent game. Fowles also posted double-doubles of 15 points and 14 rebounds in Shanghai’s 84-83 overtime victory over Jiangsu Phoenix (2-1) in the second contest and 33 points and 22 rebounds over Sichuan (1-2) in the first game. Fowles is averaging a league second-best 29.5 points and a league-leading 18.0 rebounds a game.
Brittney Griner: Playing for Beijing Great Wall (3-0), Griner led her team to a third victory with 21 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots as Beijing dominated Heilongjiang (1-2) 99-65 on Nov. 6. She also contributed 20 points and eight boards in a 73-71 opening victory over Shenyang (1-2) and 19 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots in a 51-42 win over Liaoning (1-2) in Beijing’s second game.
Maya Moore: Today Moore put up 40 points (13-18 FGs, 6-11 3pt FGs), five rebounds and eight assists as Shanxi (3-0) remained undefeated after a 98-73 win over Henan (0-3). She also had 34 points and six rebounds in Shanxi’s 77-72 victory over Shenyang (1-2) in Round 2 and 38 points, five boards and seven assists over Heilongjiang (1-2) in her opening game. Moore, who paced the WCBA for scoring last season picked up right where she left off. Averaging 37.3 points in her first three games, Moore’s closest competitor for the scoring title is currently Fowles (29.5 ppg.). Moore is also ranked fourth for assists with 4.5 per game.
USA National Team Members Among Top 10 WCBA Leaders
Points: Moore (1st, 36.0 ppg.), Fowles (2nd, 29.5 ppg.), Griner (8th, 19.5 ppg.)
Rebounds: Fowles (1st, 18.0 rpg.), Dupree (3rd, 10.5 rpg.), Griner (10th, 7.0 rpg.)
Assists: Moore (4th, 4.5 apg.)
Steals: Fowles (4th, 2.5 spg.), Dupree (10th, 1.5 spg.)
Blocked Shots: Griner (1st, 2.5 bpg.), Fowles (2.0 bpg.), Dupree (4th, 1.0 bpg.)
EUROCUP WEEK 1
The EuroCup is comprised of seven first round groups of four teams and one group of three. Following a double round-robin (home and away) in each group, the top two finishing teams will be seeded and advance to the knockout stages, beginning with round of 16 and continuing through the finals. Each playoff round will consist of a home and away game, with the aggregate score between each pair of teams determining the winner for advancement to the next round. The champion will have an opportunity to contend as a wildcard entry to the 2015-16 EuroLeague competition.
Stefanie Dolson, competing for four-time EuroLeague champion Spartak Moscow Region Vidnoje (RUS), debuted in the EuroCup by scoring 11 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in 18 minutes to aid Spartak to a 90-68 victory over Fortuna (LTU).
Bria Hartley and Kayla McBride teamed up to aid UE Sopron (HUN) to an 81-64 win over Besiktas JK (TUR). Hartley contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and two assists while McBride led all scorers with 22 points and just missed a double-double after securing nine boards.
EUROLEAGUE WEEK 1
After competing in 2012-13 for CCC Polkowice and in China last season, Nnemkadi Ogwumike will make her EuroLeague season debut with Dynamo Kursk (RUS) next week. With just seven teams in Group A, one team will have a bye each week. Group B features eight teams and will have no byes on the schedule.
GROUP A - Week 1 Recaps
UMMC Ekaterinburg 77, ZVVZ USK Praha 71
Behind the play of Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker, who put up 23 and 22 points in their season opener, respectively, 2013 EuroLeague champ UMMC Ekaterinburg (RUS) came storming back from an early double-digit deficit to take down hosts ZVVZ USK Prague (CZE) 77-71. Parker, who shot 9-of-15 from the field, finished with one of her team’s two double-doubles after grabbing 11 boards to go with a pair of blocks. Taurasi, who was 8-of-10 from the line, had six rebounds and four assists. Danielle Robinson is listed on USK’s roster, but did not compete against Ekat.
Wisla Can-Pack 68, Good Angels Kosice 55
Trailing by three points at the end of the first quarter, Wisla Can-Pack (POL) outscored host Good Angels Kosice (SVK) 21-12 in the second quarter and continued to pull away for the eventual 68-55. Instrumental in the victory was Jantel Lavender, who posted 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Courtney Vandersloot dished out three assists. On the losing end of the day, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Asjha Jones scored nine points and had six boards for the Good Angels.
Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration 66, Galatasaray 59 (OT)
In the surprise game of the day, Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration (FRA) took down reigning EuroLeague champion Galatasaray (TUR) 66-59 in overtime. While neither team features current USA National Team athletes, BLMA lists Mistie Bass (10 points, 9 rebounds) and French National Team member Emilie Godin (4 points, 19 rebounds) on its roster, while American Kelsey Bone (21 points, 5 rebounds) features on Gala’s roster this year. However, it was the play of 20-year-old Valeriane Ayayi of France that stood out in her team’s overtime win. The 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship silver medalist scored a league-best 30 points (10-15 FGs, 4-5 3pt FGs) and hauled in 12 rebounds in her EuroLeague debut.
GROUP B- Week 1 Recaps
CB Avenida 90, Beretta Famila 65
Also seeing her first EuroLeague action this week was Nneka’s sister, Chiney Ogwumike, who scored a team-high 24 points to go with eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Beretta Famila (ITA) dropped its game at home to CB Avenida (ESP), 90-65. Also on her Italian side is former USA Basketball junior gold medalist Jolene Anderson, who added six points and four rebounds in the loss.
Fenerbahce 84, Agu Spor Kulubu 78
Stepping out for the first time in EuroLeague action in a Fenerbahce (TUR) uniform, Tina Charles did not disappoint her new club and poured in 19 points, while Angel McCoughtry added 18 to lead Fener to an 84-78 victory over Agu Spor Kulubu (TUR). Tanisha Wright scored a game-high 26 points for Agu Spor. Fener led most of the first half, but the hosts took a one-point, 44-43, lead at halftime. Fener, however, stormed out of the locker room and behind a combined seven points from Charles and McCoughtry took a 10-point, 56-46, lead with 3:16 to play in the third quarter. That was all the padding Fener needed to hold off a late charge by the hosts to take the win.
Nadezhda 65, Energa Torun 63
In the season’s opener, 2014-16 USA National Team member DeWanna Bonner blocked a potential game-tying shot in the waning seconds and her Nadezhda Orenburg (RUS) squad, which fought back from a 54-37 deficit in the third quarter, took a late lead and eked out a 65-63 victory over Energa Torun (POL). Bonner capped the game with 15 points and nine boards, while fellow USA National Team member Glory Johnson contributed 10 points and eight caroms in the win.
Bourges Basket 88, BK Imos Brno 38
Former EuroLeague powerhouse BK Imos Brno (HUN), which captured the 2006 title and had a total of seven EuroLeague Final Four appearances from 2000-08, has not had a EuroLeague winning record since 2009-10 and was blown out by Bourges Basket (FRA) 88-38 in France. Bourges opened with a 17-4 first quarter and took an insurmountable 39-11 lead at halftime before sailing through the second half for the win. Australia’s Marianna Tolo led Bourges with 19 points, while
2014-15 EuroLeague Standings
Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration (1-0)
UMMC Ekaterinburg (1-0)
Wisla Can-Pack Krakow (1-0)
Dynamo Kursk (0-0)
ZVVZ USK Praha (0-1)
Good Angels Kosice (0-1)
Galatasaray Odeabank (0-1)
Fenerbahce Istanbul (1-0)
Tango Bourges Basket (1-0)
Nadezhda Orenburg Region (1-0)
Club Baloncesto Avenida (1-0)
Beretta Famila Schio (0-1)
BK Imos Brno (0-1)
Agü Spor Kulübü (0-1)
Energa Torun (0-1)