USA Women’s National Team Weekly Update: Fowles Claims China Player of the Week Honor, UConn rises to No. 2
Four 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team members are currently competing in China, 10 are in the EuroLeague, three are competing in the EuroCup, one is in Australia, two began the season in South Korea and two are still in college. 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.
Below are recaps (in order) from the NCAA, China, EuroCup, EuroLeague, Australia and South Korea. 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, are off to a 6-1 start to the season, including a 76-58 victory over rival Notre Dame last Saturday in the Jimmy V Classic. Next up for the Huskies is a a Dec. 19 contest against 2006-14 USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno and DePaul. Against Notre Dame, Mosqueda-Lewis (17.0 ppg., 4.8 rpg.) chipped in 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals; while Stewart (16.4 ppg., 7.1 rpg.) was held to 3-of-12 shooting from the field, but hit 9-of-10 from the line and finished with 15 points, nine boards and a pair of assists. The Huskies lost its No. 1 ranking after the loss to Stanford, however, the win over UND raised UConn's national ranking to No. 2, behind Dawn Staley's University of South Carolina team.
CHINA THROUGH SECOND STAGE ROUND 6
Brittney Griner’s Beijing Great Wall (12-2) and Sylvia Fowles’ Shanghai Sharks (12-2) teams have even records and own the top two spots in the WCBA second round standings. Two-time defending WCBA champs Shanxi Flames (10-4), led by 2014 FIBA World Championship MVP Maya Moore, is No. 3 in the standings. With 10 games left in the second stage, which concluds Jan. 8, and each of these three teams expected to face each other twice more before the end of the round, the rankings are still up in the air.
Player of the Week: Congrats go out to Fowles, who notched Player of the Week for Second Stage Round 6. She had a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds to help Shanghai edge Guangdong 79-78.
Beijing’s two losses came at the hands of Shanxi, 70-62, and it dropped this week’s game, 78-75, to Heilongjiang (5-9), despite Beijing receiving 24 points and five blocked shots from Griner. Neither of Shanghai’s losses came at the hands of her USA National Team teammates, but from Bahi (7-7), 83-72, and Guangdong (6-8), 82-75. Moore has only been felled once by a USA National Team member this season, a 73-51 drubbing at the hands of Beijing.
Candice Dupree and Zhejiang Far East posted a 2-8 mark on the regular season and have been relegated to playing for 9th place. Zhejiang is currently in third place in the consolation round with a 3-11 mark.
WCBA Second Round Standings
|1. Beijing (Griner)||12-2|
|2. Shanghai (Fowles)||12-2|
|3. Shanxi (Moore)||10-4|
|11. Zhejiang (Dupree)||3-11|
USA National Team Members Among Top 10 WCBA Leaders
Points: Moore (1st, 31.3 ppg.), Fowles (2nd, 27.2 ppg.), Griner (5th, 23.1 ppg.), Dupree (8th, 18.5 ppg.)
Rebounds: Fowles (1st, 14.6 rpg.), Dupree (5th, 10.6 rpg.), Moore (8th, 7.5 rpg.)
Assists: Moore (3rd, 4.2 apg.)
Steals: Moore (1st, 3.2 spg.), Fowles (3rd, 2.3 spg.)
Blocked Shots: Griner (1st, 3.2 bpg.), Fowles (2nd, 1.8 bpg.), Moore (6th, 0.8 bpg.)
EUROCUP WEEK 5
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: After starting with a 4-0 streak, Spartak Moscow Region dropped its game this week, 66-54, to Mersin in Turkey. Spartak has already clinched a spot in the EuroLeague round of 16, but a victory next week, combined with a Mersin loss, will help them close out the first round on top of Group C. Dolson, who averaged 14.3 ppg. and 8.3 rpg. in Spartak’s first four games, did not play this week.
Bria Hartley and Kayla McBride: helped Hungary’s UE Sopron to a perfect 5-0 record in Group H and last week they clinched a spot in the round of 16. This week Sopron had an easy 81-54 victory over Basket Landes in front of their home crowd in Sopron, Hungary. Leading 55-46 to start the fourth quarter, Sopron blew the doors open with a 24-8 score in the final stanza for the win. McBride led her side with 15 points and added eight rebounds, while Hartley dished out a game-high five assists and also contributed 13 points. McBride is averaging team-highs of 17.0 ppg. and 8.2 rpg., while Hartley is averaging 12.4 ppg. and 3.0 apg.
EUROLEAGUE WEEK 6
Candace Parker (15.6 ppg., 11.0 rpg., 1.4 bpg.) and Diana Taurasi (13.8 ppg., 6.6 rpg., 7.0 apg.) remain in familiar territory with UMMC Ekaterinburg, which is 5-0 and atop Group A standings. That said, Ekat isn’t as dominating as the team has been in past years and have won each of its first four games by no more than 10 points apiece. However, this week Ekat put a drubbing on Good Angels Kosice 71-51 in Slovakia. Taurasi posted a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards, while dishing out seven assists, and Parker had a double-double of 15 points and 11 caroms.
In second place in Group A is Seimone Augustus (12.0 ppg., 5.8 apg.) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (20.8 ppg., 11.8 rpg.), who have their Dynamo Kursk squad (4-1) broke open a two-way tie for second in Group A after knocking off ZVVA USK Prague by a narrow 70-65 margin in Russia. Nneka Ogwumike put up a dominating 20-point, 15-reboun performance to lead Kursk; while Augustus, who knocked down a 3-pointer that tied the game at 59-all with about five minutes remaining, finished with 18 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Wisla Can-Pack, meanwhile, dropped to fifth place with a 2-3 record after falling this week to French club BLMA 72-62 in France, despite a 14-point, 10-rebound effort from Jantel Lavender (14.0 ppg., 10.8 rpg.). Courtney Vandersloot (8.2 ppg., 3.0 rpg., 3.6 apg.) dished out five assists and scored six points in the loss.
GROUP B - Week 5
DeWanna Bonner (16.5 ppg., 6.3 rpg.) and Glory Johnson (13.0 ppg., 7.7 rpg.) were held to a combined 19 points as Nadezhda Orenburg (4-2) dropped its game this week, 53-49, at home against Turkey’s Agu Spor (2-4). With the loss, Nadezhda dropped from a three-way tie at the top of Group B and into fourth place. Johnson scored 11 points and grabbed nine boards in 31 minutes, while Bonner managed just eight points in 34 minutes.
Fenerbahce remained No. 1 with a 5-1 mark after dropping Beretta Famila Schio in Italy, which is now in seventh place with a 2-4 record. Schio was without its top scorer Chiney Ogwumike (19.3 ppg., 7.3 rpg.), but Fener was paced to the win by 21 points from Tina Charles (17.2 ppg., 7.2 rpg.) and 15 points from Angel McCoughtry (16.5 ppg., 5.5 rpg.).
EuroLeague Stats Leaders
Points: 1. Ogwumike, N. (20.8), 2. Ogwumike, C. (19.3), 5. Charles, T. (17.2), 6. Bonner, D. (16.5), 7. McCoughtry, A. (16.5), 8. Parker, C. (15.6), 16. Lavender, J. (14.0), 17. Taurasi, D. (13.8).
Rebounds: 1. Ogwumike, N. (11.8), 2. Parker, C. (11.0), 3. Lavender, J. (10.8), 14. Johnson, G. (7.7), 16. Ogwumike, C. (7.3), 17. Charles, T. (7.2).
Assists: 2. Taurasi, D. (7.0), 11. Vandersloot, C. (3.6).
2014-15 EuroLeague Standings
|3.||ZVVZ USK Praha||3-2|
|4.||Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration||3-2|
|5.||Wisla Can-Pack Krakow||2-3|
|6.||Good Angels Kosice||1-5|
|2.||Club Baloncesto Avenida||5-1|
|3.||Tango Bourges Basket||4-2|
|4.||Nadezhda Orenburg Region||4-2|
|5.||Agü Spor Kulübü||2-4|
|7.||Beretta Famila Schio||2-4|
|8.||BK IMOS Brno||0-6|
Cappie Pondexter was called to join the Dandedong Rangers of the Australian WNBL league, where she has played eight games for the 4-7 squad. She is averaging 17.9 ppg. and 4.2 apg. thus far and is playing along former Phoenix Mercury teammate Penny Taylor.
Odyssey Sims and Alyssa Thomas are teaming up for Hanabank, which is currently 3-11 through the first 14 games of the 37-round season. Sims is averaging league third-bests of 15.7 ppg. 1.6 spg., and a fifth-best 3.3 apg.; while Thomas, who only played in seven games, is averaging 16.0 ppg. and 8.9 rpg.