USA Women's National Team Update: Augustus, Ogwumike Take Down UMMC, Fowles Claims Fifth China Weekly Honor
Four 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team members are currently competing in China, 11 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.
NOTE: With the European leagues breaking for the holidays, the USA National Team weekly updates will also take a break and resume on Jan. 5.
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. The Huskies were off all last week and next up is a Dec. 19 contest against 2006-14 USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno and DePaul. Mosqueda-Lewis leads her team with a 17.0 points per game average, while grabbing 4.8 rebounds a game; while Stewart is second in scoring and rebounding, averaging 16.4 points and 7.1 rebounds a game.
Following the DePaul game, UConn faces UCLA on Dec. 21, and close out the year with a Sept. 27 game against SMU, a Dec. 29 clash against Duke and a New Year’s Eve day game at East Carolina.
CHINA THROUGH SECOND STAGE ROUND 9
Player of the Week: Congrats again to Sylvia Fowles, who nabbed her fifth WCBA Player of the Week honor. Her latest came after a 36-point, 11-rebound performance to lead Shanghai to an 80-69 victory over Jiangsu, which put her squad on top of the standings with a 14-2 record. (Shanghai would drop to second place following the second game of the week.)
Two USA National Team members in the hunt for the WCBA trophy went 1-1 on the week, while the third was a perfect 2-0.
Sylvia Fowles: Nabbed Round 8 honors after helping her team to a win over Jiangsu (see above) and followed that up with 14 points and six rebounds in a 77-54 loss to Brittney Griner and league-leading Beijing. The Great Wall held Fowles to shooting just 6-of-19 from the field.
Brittney Griner: In Griner’s first game of the week, Beijing dropped a 70-58 contest to Maya Moore and Shanxi, despite pouring in 28 points, while nabbing eight boards and swatting four shots. As mentioned above, in Beijing’s second game of the week, Griner’s squad topped Shanghai 75-57 as Griner collected 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 7 blocks.
Maya Moore: Moore went off for 34 points and 15 rebounds to propel her Shanxi squad past Beijing and Griner 70-58 in the first game of the week. In Beijing’s second game, Moore’s 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists helped Shanxi take down Bayi 82-64.
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 fourth place in the consolation round with a 3-14 mark.
WCBA Second Round Standings
|1. Beijing (Griner)||14-3|
|2. Shanghai (Fowles)||14-3|
|3. Shanxi (Moore)||12-5|
|12. Zhejiang (Dupree)||3-14|
USA National Team Members Among Top 10 WCBA Leaders
Points: Moore (1st, 30.5 ppg.), Fowles (2nd, 27.1 ppg.), Griner (5th, 22.3 ppg.), Dupree (8th, 18.5 ppg.)
Rebounds: Fowles (1st, 13.4 rpg.), Dupree (5th, 10.6 rpg.), Moore (8th, 7.9 rpg.), Griner (10th, 7.1)
Assists: Moore (3rd, 4.1 apg.)
Steals: Moore (1st, 3.3 spg.), Fowles (4th, 2.1 spg.)
Blocked Shots: Griner (1st, 3.7 bpg.), Fowles (2nd, 1.7 bpg.), Moore (5th, 0.8 bpg.)
EUROCUP WEEK 6
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.
The EuroCup first round is complete and the next round begins on Jan. 15, 2015. The pairings have not yet been announced for the round of 16.
Stefanie Dolson: Dolson, who sat last week’s EuroCup game, only played eight minutes, recording two points and two rebounds, in Spartak Moscow Region Vidnoje’s (5-1) final game of the first round. Despite missing one of its leading scorers for most of the contest, her squad handedly downed Turkish side Orduspor (5-1) 81-48 in Vidnoje this week. Dolson is averaging a Spartak second-best 11.8 ppg. and a team-leading 7.0 rpg. in EuroCup games. Spartak tied with Mersin atop Group C with identical 4-1 records and the two teams split the matches against each other, with Spartak earning an 85-77 win early on and Mersin retaliating with a 66-54 victory last week. Taking into account the aggregate score, Mersin takes the No. 1 position in the group with an overall win of 143-139.
Bria Hartley and Kayla McBride: Helped Hungary’s UE Sopron to a perfect 6-0 record in Group H and earned a spot in the round of 16. Sopron clinched its sixth victory, an 83-54 win over Namur in Belgium, with the help of 10 points from McBride and five from Hartley. McBride leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.8 ppg. and 7.5 rpg., while Hartley is second with 11.2 ppg. and 2.7 apg.
EUROLEAGUE WEEK 7
Having completed the first half of the regular season, the EuroLeague is set to break for two weeks for the holidays. Games will pick back up on Jan. 7, 2015. Six USA National Team members have their teams positioned among the top teams in the brackets, two are in a respectable spot, while the remaining three are hoping the second half of the season brings more victories than the first half.
In a game that would have been exciting to watch live, Seimone Augustus, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Dynamo Kursk, playing in its first EuroLeague season in history, traveled to Ekaterinburg to face the lone unbeaten team in league action this season. Scoring 18 of her 20 points in the first half, Ogwumike helped pace Dynamo to a 48-37 upper hand at the midway point. Augustus drained a 3-pointer to open the second half and open Dynamo’s lead to 51-37.
Cue perennial EuroLeague Final Four competitors UMMC Ekaterinburg. The hosts, with the help of a combined 11 points from Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi, stormed back to within four points in the third quarter to close to 66-62 with 10 minutes remaining. Ekat continued to chip away at the deficit and with 3:31 left to play, Parker hit a jumper to knot the score at 72-apiece. Dynamo moved back in front, but a Sandrine Gruda lay-up, assisted by Taurasi, with 15 seconds remaining tied it up again, 77-77.
With six seconds on the clock, Augustus was fouled on an attempt. She sunk the first of her two tries from the line and after the second one missed its mark, Jelena Milovanovic secured the offensive board and Kursk notched its fifth-straight win, 78-77, over powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg.
The four USA National Team players were all impressive and combined for 77 points 32 rebounds and 15 assists. Augustus scored a game-high 24 points and passed out four assists; Ogwumike posted a double-double of 20 points and 12 boards, while adding a pair of blocked shots and two steals; Parker also notched a double-double after scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 caroms; while Taurasi’s double-double was for 12 points and 10 assists. Taurasi also added six boards, one block and two steals.
The game marked the close of the first half of EuroLeague play and the start of the holiday break. The teams will meet up for a rematch in Kursk on Feb. 18, which caps regular-season play for both teams.
Wisla Can-Pak (2-4), the only team to defeat Kursk this season, dropped to 2-4 and into fifth place in Group A after losing to Turkish club Galatasary at home in Krakow. Reigning EuroLeague champs Gala, which had yet to win a game this season, secured 23 points from 18 Wisla turnovers and hit 8-of-17 from 3-point range to help seal the victory. Jantel Lavender led Wisla’s efforts with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Courtney Vandersloot had four points, four rebounds and five assists.
With the help of Tina Charles and Angel McCoughtry, Fenerbahce extended its home winning streak to 24 games and remained on top of Group B standings, tied with Avenida with a 6-1 record. McCoughtry contributed a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds, while Charles put up 19 points and hauled down seven caroms in the 65-54 victory over Nadezhda. The loss marked the second straight for the Russian side, which dropped to 4-3 heading into the holiday break and was led by Glory Johnson’s double-double of 12 points and 10 boards and DeWanna Bonner added 10 points.
Beretta Famila Schio, which was without standout Chiney Ogwumike for the second-straight week, took down Energa Torun 79-58 to up its record to 3-4.
EuroLeague Stats Leaders
Points: 1. Ogwumike, N. (20.7); 2. Charles, T. (17.4); 4. McCoughtry, A. (17.0); 6. Parker, C. (16.5); 7. Bonner, D. (15.6); 14. Augustus, S. (14.0); 15. Lavender, J. (14.0); 17. Taurasi, D. (13.5).
Rebounds: 1. Ogwumike, N. (11.8); 3. Parker, C. (11.2); 4. Lavender, J. (10.8); 12. Johnson, G. (8.0); 16. Charles, T. (7.1).
Assists: 2. Taurasi, D. (7.5), 10. Vandersloot, C. (3.6); 18. Augustus, S. (2.8)
2014-15 EuroLeague Standings
|3.||ZVVZ USK Praha||4-2|
|5.||Wisla Can-Pack Krakow||2-4|
|7.||Good Angels Kosice||1-5|
|2.||Club Baloncesto Avenida||6-1|
|3.||Tango Bourges Basket||4-3|
|4.||Nadezhda Orenburg Region||4-3|
|5.||Agü Spor Kulübü||3-4|
|6.||Beretta Famila Schio||3-4|
|8.||BK IMOS Brno||0-7|
Cappie Pondexter is averaging team second bests of 17.2 ppg. and 4.5 apg., trailing only Penny Taylor’s 20.6 ppg., and 5.6 apg., for the Dandedong Rangers (5-7), which has won three of its last four matches. Next up is a Saturday clash against Sydney Uni (6-5) and a victory would help Dandedong continue its climb into the top four.
Odyssey Sims and Alyssa Thomas are teaming up for Hanabank, which picked up its fourth win today and is currently 4-12 through the first 16 games of the 37-round season. Sims is averaging a league fifth-best 13.8 ppg., sixth-best 3.1 apg., and a third-best 1.5 apg. Thomas, who has played in nine games, is averaging a league second-best 17.1 ppg. and league-leading 9.7 rpg.