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USA 72, Australia 66

USA Women’s National Team Weekly Update

  • Date:
    Mar 29, 2015

More than half the 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team members suited up for teams in different leagues around the globe this season. Some are still playing, while others have concluded their respective league play. They were in locations from China to South Korea, Russia to Turkey and of course, playing and coaching in the NCAA

Nearly every Thursday throughout the 2014-15 season, USA Basketball has reported on the progress of the athletes competing overseas and in NCAA action here in the United States. With the NCAA Sweet 16 ramping up this weekend and the EuroLeague Final Four scheduled for April 10-12 in Prague, Czech Republic, most of the athletes have completed EuroLeague, EuroCup, China and South Korean league play. However, most of the European teams are still going strong in the hunt for a playoff spot in their respective country’s league.

NCAA: The Madness Continues
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
USA National Team head coach Geno Auriemma, as well as USA National Team members Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart had no trouble dispatching their first two NCAA opponents. Opening the tournament against Saint Francis Brooklyn (15-19), the Huskies (34-1) used an 18-0 run to open up a 34-11 lead, expanded that to 47-14 at halftime and cruised in for a 89-33 victory. Their second game, against Rutgers (23-10) saw UConn earn a 20-point, 51-31, halftime lead before an eventual 91-55 win. In the first two rounds Mosqueda-Lewis averaged 12.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists; while Stewart contributed 12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 blocks per game.

Connecticut on March 28 is set to face Texas (24-10) in the Sweet 16. Should they prevail, the Huskies will match-up on March 30 against the winner of the Louisville/Dayton regional semifinal game.

Auriemma has earned 99 NCAA victories and is looking for No. 100 this weekend.

USA Basketball Teammates: Mosqueda-Lewis, Stewart and Texas center Imani McGee-Stafford teamed up together to help the USA collect gold at the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship. Also on that squad was Louisville’s Bria Smith.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
USA National Team assistant coach Dawn Staley, head coach at South Carolina (32-2), and her Gamecocks used a 21-1 run in the second half of their first game to overpower Savannah State (21-11) and eventually earn an 81-48 victory. USC shot a blistering 64.2 percent from the field, while Savannah State managed to make just 33.3 percent. USC’s second game was more of the same as the Gamecocks took a 53-25 lead over Syracuse (22-10) at halftime and cruised in for a 97-68 victory. The team again shot well, this time making 55.2 percent from the field, while holding Syracuse to 33.3 percent shooting.

Next up for South Carolina is a clash against North Carolina (26-8) on March 27. Should Staley’s squad defeat UNC, it will face on March 29 the winner of the Arizona State/Florida State contest.

DePAUL UNIVERSITY
USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno and his DePaul (27-8) squad played in a 13th-straight NCAA Tournament, advancing to the second round. In the opening contest against Minnesota, the Blue Demons trailed by double digits at halftime. But a second-half, 22-4, run helped DePaul take down Minnesota (23-10) 79-72. However, a daunting task loomed ahead in the second round as the Blue Demons tipped-off against No. 1 seed Notre Dame in South Bend. DePaul was simply overmatched and ended its season with a 79-67 loss to the Fighting Irish.

EUROLEAGUE: Final Four Set for April 10-12
The 2015 EuroLeague quarterfinals concluded two weeks ago and the 2015 EuroLeague Final Four pairings are: Dynamo Kursk vs. UMMC Ekaterinburg and Fenerbahce vs. host ZVVZ USK Prague. The Final Four will be played April 10-12 in Prague, Czech Republic.

On one half of the semifinals are two of the strongest teams in the Russian league: Dynamo Kursk and UMMC Ekaterinburg. Dynamo features Seimone Augustus and Nnemkadi Ogwumike, while Ekat has Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi on its roster.

On the other side of the bracket, host ZVVZ USK Prague, with Danielle Robinson at the point, will take on Tina Charles and Fenerbahce for the right to play for the 2015 EuroLeague crown.

Unlike the playoffs, which saw teams compete in a best-of-three series, the EuroLeague Final Four is a standard knock-out bracket.

UMMC vs. Dynamo
The only team to beat Ekaterinburg in EuroLeague or Russian League play this season, Nadezhda seems to have Ekat’s number. Can Nadezhda pull off a fourth vicory over the talented Ekat team or will Ekaterinburg prevail and advance to the championship game? Either way, this will be the game to watch on April 10.

TEAM STATS COMPARISON

Dynamo Kursk UMMC Ekaterinburg
76.7 Pts 77.9
47.7% (23.7/49.7) 2P FG 51.2% (25.0/48.8)
38.8% (6.7/17.3) 3P FG 38.7% (6.0/15.5)
78.0% (9.2/11.8) FT 72.8% (9.9/13.6)
9.7 Off 10.0
26.1 Def 32.2
35.7 Tot 42.2
18.5 AS 15.6
11.1 TO 14.7
10.5 ST 7.4
2.5 BS 3.3
13.9 PF 16.2

TEAM LEADERS

Dynamo Kursk UMMC Ekaterinburg
Headshot Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Avg: 19.8
Pts
Diana Taurasi
Avg: 16.9
Headshot
Headshot Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Avg: 10.8
Reb
Candace Parker
Avg: 10.5
Headshot
Headshot Epiphanny Prince
Avg: 5.3
AS
Diana Taurasi
Avg: 5.9
Headshot
Headshot Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Avg: 2.1
ST
Candace Parker
Avg: 1.4
Headshot
Headshot Irina Osipova
Avg: 1.1
BS
Candace Parker
Avg: 1.1
Headshot

ZVVZ USK vs. Fenerbahce
These two teams have not met in EuroLeague play this year. After an up and down season, which saw them drop two games each to UMMC and Dynamo as well as one loss each to Wisla Can-Pack and Galatasary, Prague has enjoyed a late-season surge. The club ended the regular season with a 77-72 victory over BLMA and then upset Spanish powerhouse CB Avenida 50-48 and 72-43 in the quarterfinals. As Final Four hosts, Prague will look to that series and home court advantage in its attempt to jump past Fener and into the title game. Fener, however, is looking for a third-straight EuroLeague championship game, after having advanced that far in 2013 and 2014. Fener lost its leading scorer Angel McCoughtry mid-way through the season and could struggle in the Final Four without her.

TEAM STATS COMPARISON
Fenerbahce ZVVZ USK Praha
69.5 Pts 69.9
47.5% (21.4/45.1) 2P FG 44.6% (22.5/50.4)
29.0% (4.5/15.4) 3P FG 35.2% (4.9/14.0)
71.5% (13.3/18.6) FT 70.9% (10.1/14.2)
11.5 Off 10.9
29.0 Def 26.4
40.5 Tot 37.2
13.8 AS 14.4
15.4 TO 12.9
8.1 ST 7.7
2.5 BS 1.2
19.6 PF 18.2

TEAM LEADERS

Fenerbahce ZVVZ USK Praha
Headshot Angel McCoughtry
Avg: 15.3
Pts
Sonja Petrovic
Avg: 14.3
Headshot
Headshot Tina Charles
Avg: 7.9
Reb
Kia Vaughn
Avg: 8.2
Headshot
Headshot Birsel Vardarli Demirmen
Avg: 3.5
AS
Laia Palau
Avg: 7.2
Headshot
Headshot Angel McCoughtry
Avg: 1.8
ST
Sonja Petrovic
Avg: 1.9
Headshot
Headshot Astou Ndour
Avg: 0.8
BS
Kia Vaughn
Avg: 0.3
Headshot

 

EuroLeague Stats Leaders
Points: 1. Ogwumike (19.8 ppg.); 2. Taurasi (16.9 ppg.); 3. Lavender (16.8 ppg.); 4. Bonner (16.7 ppg.); 5. McCoughtry (15.3); 6. Charles (15.3 ppg.); 7. Parker (15.1 ppg.); 12.  Augustus (13.6 ppg.).

Rebounds: 1. Ogwumike (10.8 rpg.); 2. Parker (10.5 rpg.); 5. Lavender (10.2 rpg.); 12. Charles (7.9 rpg.); 16. Bonner (7.0 rpg.).

Assists: 2. Taurasi (5.9 apg.), 4. Vandersloot (4.4 apg.).

CHINA: Concluded
Four USA National Team members started the season in China -- Candice Dupree, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner and Maya Moore -- but only two remained until the end. Dupree’s team did not advance to the second round and has since moved to Russia to compete for Nadezhda Orenburg. Fowles made it to the quarterfinals, but was ousted in that round. Battling for the title were Griner and two-time defending champion Moore, who clinched her third-straight title this year.

Following the end of the WCBA Finals, Asia-Basket.com announced its honorees for its awards and All-WCBA teams. Three of the four USA National Team athletes who competed in China this season picked up a slew of honors between them.

2015 WCBA Finals MVP: Maya Moore
2015 WCBA Player of the Year: Maya Moore
2015 WCBA Guard of the Year: Maya Moore
2015 WCBA Center of the Year: Brittney Griner
2015 WCBA Import of the Year: Maya Moore
2015 WCBA Defensive Player of the Year: Brittney Griner
2015 All-WCBA first team: Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Maya Moore
2015 WCBA All-Imports Team: Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Maya Moore

SOUTH KOREA: Concluded 
Odyssey Sims and Alyssa Thomas suit up for Hanabank, which ended the season on a high note, with a 64-54 victory over the No. 2 team S-Birds (24-11) to finish with a 13-22 record overall. Thomas earned Player of the Week honors in the final game after posting 23 points and 18 rebounds in the game. Thomas leads the league in scoring (19.0 ppg.), rebounding (11.1 rpg.) and ranks fourth in assists (3.6 apg.), while shooting 51.7 percent from the field. Sims, meanwhile, averaged 10.4 ppg. and 2.2 apg. this season.

AUSTRALIA: Concluded
Despite receiving 27 points and three assists from Cappie Pondexter, the Dandedong Rangers (12-9) fell to the Sydney Uni Flames 89-80 in the Australian semifinals to end their season. Pondexter averaged 17.0 ppg., 5.5 rpg. and 4.0 apg. for Dandedong.

EUROCUP: Concluded 
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 were Feb. 4-5 and 11-12, semifinals are played Feb. 26 and March 5, while the finals will be contested March 19 and 26. Three USA National Team athletes competed in the EuroCup this season and after last week, none remain in the title hunt.

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.

Stefanie Dolson:
Dolson and Spartak Moscow Region (6-2) are out of the playoffs, having been dropped in the round of 16. However, 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 9-7 and sitting in fourth place behind undefeated UMMC Ekaterinburg (16-0), Nadezhda Orenburg (14-2) and Dynamo Kursk (12-3). Dolson is averaging 10.7 ppg. and 4.2 rpg. in the 11 Russia League games in which she has competed.

Bria Hartley and Kayla McBride:
After starting the year with a perfect 8-0 record, Hartley, McBride and Hungary’s UE Sopron (8-2) were handed their first two EuroCup losses of the season by Maccabi Bnot Ashdod (9-1) in the EuroCup quarterfinals, 87-60 and 78-77, and bowed out of EuroCup competition. However, they are still competing in the Hungarian league and lead the country with a 16-1 record, ahead of Györ (12-5) and Pésci (12-5).

In EuroCup action, McBride averaged a team-high of 17.1 ppg. to go with 6.2 rpg., while Hartley contributed 12.0 ppg., 4.1 rpg. and 3.2 apg.

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