USA Women’s National Team Weekly Update: Dupree Returns to Europe, Chiney Ogwumike Out
Three 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team members are currently competing in China, 11 are now 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.
Chiney Ogwumike played in seven EuroLeague games for Beretta Famila Schio and averaged 25.3 points and 13.1 rebounds prior to returning to the United States and underwent microfracture surgery Thursday on her right knee.
From the Associated Press:
(Chiney) Ogwumike is expected to make a full recovery and is expected to be sidelined for at least six months. The league's rookie of the year averaged 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds while playing in 31 games for the Sun this past season. Ogwumike led all rookies in double-doubles (13) and was second in the WNBA in offensive rebounds (123).
"This is new territory for my family and I, but I am not one to shy away from challenges," Ogwumike said. "I have met every life challenge with an optimistic point of view, therefore this is an obstacle I know I will overcome. I have the best support system, both personally and professionally, so I know I will emerge from this experience a more confident and determined player."
NCAA - UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
2013-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach Geno Auriemma and his No. 2 Huskies, including USA National Team members Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart, are off to a 17-1 start to the season and captured victories last week over USF (92-50) and UCF (100-45). Coming up next week are clashes against Cincinnati and East Carolina. One of the Huskies upcoming games to circle on the calendar is the Feb. 9 contest versus Dawn Staley’s No. 1-ranked Gamecocks.
Two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Stewart is leading the squad for scoring, averaging 16.8 ppg., to go with team second-bests of 7.2 rpg. and 2.2 bpg., while adding 3.1 apg. and 1.6 spg.
Mosqueda-Lewis, who eclipsed former Husky All-American Diana Taurasi’s record of 318 for all-time career 3-pointers at Connecticut and now has 329 midway through the season, is averaging 14.4 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 2.9 apg. and 1.3 spg. She has also shot 54 3-pointers this season, an average of 3.2 per game.
Auriemma in December became the women’s NCAA Division I leader for winning percentage, surpassing Leon Barmore’s .8688. Auriemma’s current winning percentage is .8695. He currently ranks sixth among women’s NCAA Division I head coaches in terms of total victories with 895. The next coach ahead of him, and the only one to possibly eclipse this season, is fifth-ranked former Texas head coach Jody Conradt (900, 38 seasons).
CHINA THROUGH SECOND STAGE ROUND 19
While teams have played 23 games, there are only eight teams remaining and it looks as if the standings for the past six games are the only ones being counted in the final playoff push.
Maya Moore’s Shanxi club sits atop the leaderboard with a perfect 6-0 record in this round, while Brittney Griner’s Beijing team is second (4-2), tied with Guangdong (4-2), Sylvia Fowles’ Shanghai (4-2) squad and Shenyang (4-2).
WCBA Second Stage Standings
|1. Shanxi (Moore)||6-0|
|2. Beijing (Griner)||4-2|
|4. Shanghai (Fowles)||4-2|
USA National Team Members Among Top 10 WCBA Leaders (through 22 games)
Points: 1. Moore (30.1 ppg.), 2. Fowles (28.8 ppg.), 4. Griner (21.2 ppg.)
Rebounds: 2. Fowles (13.0 rpg.), 6. Moore (8.4 rpg.), 8. Griner (7.6)
Assists: 4. Moore (4.1 apg.)
Steals: 1. Moore (3.6 spg.), 6. Fowles (2.0 spg.)
Blocked Shots: 1. Griner (3.7 bpg.), 2. Fowles (1.5 bpg.), 5. Moore (0.8 bpg.)
EUROCUP: ROUND of 16 GAME TWO
The EuroCup was 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 were seeded and advanced to the knockout stages, beginning with round of 16 and continuing through the finals. The EuroCup first round is complete and the round of 16 games were played Jan. 15 and 22. The quarterfinals are slated for Feb. 5 and 12, semifinals will be played Feb. 26 and March 5, while the finals will be contested March 19 and 26.
Each playoff round consists 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.
After claiming a 71-69 victory over Istanbul Universitesi BGD S.K. (5-3) in the first game, Dolson and
Spartak Moscow Region (6-2) dropped the second game 68-62, despite a 13-point effort from Dolson. IUBGD had a +4-point advantage over the two-game series and advance to the quarterfinals. Dolson shot 6-of-9 from the field, including 1-of-3 from 3-point in nearly 20 minutes of action. Americans Courtney Paris (21 points, 19 rebounds) and Shenise Johnson (19 points) helped pace IUBGD to victory.
While its EuroCup campaign has come to an end for this year, Spartak is still very much alive in the Russian League. The club is 7-5 and is sitting in fourth place behind undefeated UMMC Ekaterinburg (11-0), Nadezhda Orenburg (10-1) and Dynamo Kursk (9-3).
Bria Hartley and Kayla McBride:
Hartley and McBride aided Hungary’s UE Sopron (8-0) to a two-game sweep over Sweden’s Udominate Basket (2-4) to advance to the quarterfinals. After earning a 103-79 victory in last week’s game over Udominate and this week took a much closer, 81-76, win over the Swedes. McBride scored a game-high 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and also pulled down six boards. Hartley had seven points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals.
UE Sopron will face Maccabi Bnot Ashdod (7-1) in its two-game quarterfinals series. Maccabi earned its quarterfinals berth by virtue of a 131-117 aggregate score in its two round of 16 wins over Chevakata.
McBride is averaging a team-high of 18.3 ppg. to go with 6.5 rpg., while Hartley is contributing a second best 11.3 ppg. and 3.5 apg.
EUROLEAGUE WEEK 10
Candice Dupree, who played the first part of the 2014-15 season in China for Zhejiang (6-16), has transferred to the EuroLeague and will suit up for Nadezhda Orenburg in hopes of helping the Russian club advance to the playoffs. In 10 games with Zhejiang, Dupree averaged 18.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals a game. Dupree takes the second American slot on a team that was vacated after Glory Johnson left the team at the mid-season break to spend time in China with Brittney Griner.
With four weeks to go in the regular season, the playoffs are looming for the top four teams in each group. Group A’s top two squads are fairly solidified with Ekaterinburg (7-1) and Dynamo Kursk (6-2), however, the pressure is on for the four teams in position to earn one of the final two slots: Wisla Can-Pack Krakow (4-5), BLMA (4-5), ZVVZ USK Prague (4-4) and Galatasaray (3-6).
Group B is in a similar situation, with Fenerbahce (9-1) and CB Avenida (8-2) sitting pretty in the top two slots, with Nadezhda Orenburg (6-4), Bourges Basket (6-4) Beretta Famila Schio (5-5) and Agu Spor Kulubu (4-6) fighting for the final two playoff berths.
Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker did not compete in the EuroLeague this week as UMMC Ekaterinburg (7-1) had a bye, which allowed Parker to return home to Los Angeles and surprise her daughter Lailaa. (LINK: https://www.facebook.com/candaceparker)
Jantel Lavender and Courtney Vandersloot helped Wisla Can-Pack (4-5) earn an 86-72 win over Danielle Robinson’s visiting ZVVZ USK Prague (4-4) club. Wisla bumped up to third place, while Prague dropped to fifth. Lavender posted game-highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Vandersloot notched 12 points and dished out a game-high six assists. On the other side, Robinson top scored for her team with 12 points and also contributed five rebounds and one assist.
Despite a game-high 30 points from Nnemkadi Ogwumike, host Galatasaray (3-6) felled Dynamo Kursk (6-2) 91-87 in double overtime to help keep its playoff hopes alive. After holding a 10-point, 39-29, halftime lead, Kursk saw its cushion dwindle to four points, 55-51, at the end of the third quarter. Gala continued to draw closer and with 1:29 remaining in regulation, knotted the game at 67-all. The game remained tight and with three seconds remaining, Jelena Milovanovic got a layup for Kursk to send the game into overtime, 72-72.
The first overtime saw Gala go up by three points (79-76) with 1:37 remaining, but a 3-pointer from Seimone Augustus with 12 seconds left pulled Kursk even with Gala, 79-79, and the teams headed into the second extra period. Gala wasted no time and put together a 6-0 run before Kursk could respond with a pair of layins by Ogwumike that pulled her team to within two points, 85-83. Neither team backed down and with 39 seconds to play, Ogwumike hit a bucket to close to 89-87. However, Kelsey Bone scored the game’s final points inside with 16 seconds left and Gala came away with the 91-87 victory.
In addition to being the game’s top scorer, Ogwumike shot 14-of-18 from the field and finished the contest with a game-best 15 boards. Augustus scored 19 points and grabbed four rebounds in the loss, while Bone hit for 21 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
Going up against one of the top teams in the EuroLeague, Lindsay Whalen scored 22 points and had six rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Agu Spor (4-6) dropped a 71-64 contest to CB Avenida (8-2) in Spain. With four games remaining, including against teams ranked Nos. 3-5 in Group B standings, it’s not going to be easy to gain a playoff berth.
Fenerbahce (9-1) earned an 81-67 victory over Energa Torun (2-8), thanks in part to 22 points from Angel McCoughtry and a 10-point, 7-rebound performance from Tina Charles, who shot 5-of-8 from the field in 21 minutes.
Nadezhda Orenburg (6-4) welcomed the addition of Candice Dupree, but fell short, 58-50, against Bourges Basket (6-4). DeWanna Bonner topped her team with 15 points and eight rebounds and Dupree joined in with six points and seven rebounds. If the team can at least split its final four games, the Russian club should be into the next round.
EuroLeague Stats Leaders
Points: 1. Ogwumike (21.8 ppg.); 2. Bonner (16.8 ppg.); 3. Lavender (16.8 ppg.);4. Taurasi (16.4 ppg.); 5. Charles (16.2 ppg.); 7. McCoughtry (15.8 ppg.); 8. Parker (15.8 ppg.); 13. Augustus (14.0 ppg.).
Rebounds: 1. Ogwumike (12.3 rpg.); 2. Lavender (10.9 rpg.); 3. Parker (10.9 rpg.); 17. Charles (6.9 rpg.); 20. Bonner (6.6 rpg.).
Assists: 2. Taurasi (6.5 apg.), 6. Vandersloot (4.6 apg.).
2014-15 EuroLeague Standings
|3.||Wisla Can-Pack Krakow||4-5|
|5.||ZVVZ USK Praha||4-4|
|7.||Good Angels Kosice||2-7|
|2.||Club Baloncesto Avenida||8-2|
|3.||Nadezhda Orenburg Region||6-4|
|4.||Tango Bourges Basket||6-4|
|5.||Beretta Famila Schio||5-5|
|6.||Agü Spor Kulübü||4-6|
|8.||BK IMOS Brno||0-10|
After starting the season 2-6, Cappie Pondexter and the Dandedong Rangers (10-7) are on a six-game winning streak and have moved up in the rankings to third place, one up from last week. The Rangers, who have five games remaining in the regular season, next face Adelaide (3-14), which is at the bottom of the standings in eighth place. Playing alongside former Phoenix Mercury teammate Penny Taylor, Pondexter is averaging 16.6 points and 4.2 assists a game. Taylor is putting up 21.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game.
Odyssey Sims and Alyssa Thomas are teaming up for Hanabank, which is currently 6-18 through the first 24 games of the 37-round season. The team last played on Jan. 14 and is off through Jan. 24, when it faces league-leading Woori Hansae (21-3) in Round 26. Thomas is averaging league-bests of 19.2 ppg., 10.5 rpg. and 3.9 apg., while Sims boasts averages of 12.3 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and 2.4 apg.
The South Korean All-Star Game was held last week and featured Sims and Thomas on the Central Team, which lost to the South Team 97-94 on Jan. 18. Stats for the South Korean All-Star Game were not available.