Keeping Up With USA National Team Members & Staff Around the Globe
With USA Basketball Women’s National Team members and staff competing worldwide, it can be difficult to keep up with how everyone is faring with their various teams. However, throughout the 2015-16 season, USA Basketball will publish weekly updates on what the athletes and coaches are doing with their different programs.
Highlights of the past week include a late Diana Taurasi 3-pointer that lifted UMMC Ekaterinburg past defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague; a homecoming of sorts for Breanna Stewart, who scored 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out 10 assists at Colgate; and Nnemkadi Ogwumike shot 8-of-11 from the field and poured in 22 points to go with five rebounds and a pair of assists in leading her team to victory.
USA and Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, along with senior All-American Stewart and the rest of the No. 1 Huskies are a perfect 7-0 on the season (as of 12/10/15) and face No. 11/9 Florida State tonight in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Huskies are riding a 44-game winning streak and earned victories over Notre Dame and Colgate over the past week. Also last week, Stewart had 28 points and 10 rebounds against Notre Dame, and became the first player in NCAA history to rack up more than 300 assists and 300 blocks and now lists career numbers of 2,127 points, 916 rebounds, 307 assists, 309 blocked shots and 179 steals.
USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno and No. 18/17 DePaul (6-3) split a pair of games last week, taking down Illinois State 89-41, before coming up short against No. 3 Notre Dame, 95-90. Next up for DePaul is a clash against No. 15/16 Texas A&M on Dec. 12 in College Station, Texas.
Also listing an unbeaten record are USA National Team assistant coach Dawn Staley’s No. 2-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, who improved to 8-0 last weekend after defeating No. 14/13 Duke 66-55 on Dec. 6. The Gamecocks will host Winthrop on Dec. 13 and Hampton on Dec. 16.
Eight USA National Team members are competing on five different EuroLeague teams, including Seimone Augustus and Nneka Ogwumike with Dynamo Kursk (Russia), DeWanna Bonner and Kayla McBride for Nadezhda (Russia), Brittney Griner joined Diana Taurasi with UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia), Jantel Lavender is competing for Fenerbahce (Turkey), and Danielle Robinson returned to defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague (Czech Republic).
DYNAMO KURSK (5-2):
- Seimone Augustus and Nneka Ogwumike helped Dynamo Kursk picked up another victory last week after defeating former EuroLeague power Perfumerias Avenida (1-6), 77-64. Ogwumike shot 8-of-11 from the field and poured in 22 points to go with five rebounds and a pair of assists, and Augustus scored eight points and had four assists.
- Ogwumike is averaging 18.7 points a game to lead all EuroLeague scorers, and her 8.6 rebounds per game is sixth-best in the league.
- Next Up: Fenerbahce (6-1) at home on Dec. 16.
- DeWanna Bonner, Kayla McBride and Nadezhda bounced back from its loss the previous week to run past EuroLeague newcomer Mithra Castors Braine (2-5) 67-47. Bonner aided in the win with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while McBride scored a game-high 18 points.
- Bonner is leading her team with 15.6 ppg. and 9.1 rpg., while McBride is a close second in scoring at 15.3 ppg.
- Next Up: Spar CityLift Girona (1-6) at home on Dec. 16.
UMMC EKATERINBURG (6-1):
- Brittney Griner and Diana Taursi helped Ekat (6-1) to a 76-73 victory at home over defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague (4-3). Taurasi, who nailed a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to keep the game from going into extra time, finished with a team-high 19 points and added four rebounds and six assists; while Griner scored 15 points, grabbed nine boards and had a pair of blocked shots.
- Scoring at a clip of 17.4 ppg., Taurasi trails just Ogwumike among EuroLeague leaders.
- UMMC Ekaterinburg remains on top of Group B, which is starting to see some separation in the standings.
- Notable: former USA Junior National Team member Janel McCarville had her second-best output of the season with 14 points against UMMC.
- Next Up: Bourges Basket (3-4) at home on Dec. 16.
- Jantel Lavender and Fenerbahce (6-1) remain atop Group A after edging crosstown rival Galatasaray (4-3) at home 57-56. Lavender contributed 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.
- Notable: Former DePaul standout and sister to 2015 USA U16 National Team assistant coach Samantha Quigley, Allie Quigley scored 12 points and former USA Basketball Junior National Team member Marissa Coleman scored 10 points in the win.
- Next Up: Dynamo Kursk (5-2) in Russia on Dec. 16.
ZVVZ USK PRAGUE (4-3):
- Danielle Robinson and defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague (4-3) dropped a heartbreaker in Russia against UMMC Ekaterinburg (see above for recap). Robinson saw fewer than 14 minutes of action and dished out two assists.
- Next Up: Agu Spor (4-3) in Turkey on Dec. 16.
There is one final game left on the regular season EuroCup schedule and after games are played on Dec. 17, teams will be ranked and seeded for playoff runs. Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the Round of 16, which gets underway on Jan. 7, 2016.
- Stefanie Dolson returned to Turkey and is competing for Edirnespor (3-2). She is averaging a double-double of 13.2 ppg. and 10.0 rpg. in EuroCup games. Her squad is tied for second place in the Group C standings after defeating Tsmoki-Minsk (0-5) 73-61 this past week with the help of 16 points and eight rebounds from Dolson.
- In EuroCup play this season, Cappie Pondexter is signed with Turkey’s Besiktas JK and leading all EuroCup scorers, averaging 23.0 ppg. and 4.6 apg. for her 3-2 club midway through the season. Besiktas is ranked second in Group A after defeating Piestanske Cajky (2-3) 65-60, behind 24 points, six rebounds and five assists from Pondexter.
- Also playing in Turkey is Courtney Vandersloot, who is suiting up for Orduspor (3-2) and averaging 17.4 ppg., 4.0 rpg. and a EuroCup-leading 6.8 apg. Despite receiving 20 points and five assists from Vandersloot, Orduspor fell to WBC Dynamo (3-2) in Russia, 64-60. Both teams are tied for the No. 2 slot in Group B standings.
The Chinese league is into the second stage and all three teams with USA National Team representation are still alive and in the hunt for the title.
- This marks the first season in China for Tina Charles, who is playing for Xinjiang (14-4) and averaging a league second-best 26.6 ppg., while adding a fourth-best 11.2 rpg. In her most recent game, Charles poured in 23 points and 11 rebounds en route to an 86-78 victory over Shanxi Flames (9-11).
- Sylvia Fowles played last season for the Shanghai Octopus (15-3), returned to China and is competing for Beijing Great Wall (12-8). She is averaging a league fifth-best 19.9 ppg. and third-best 11.3 rpg. She went up against her former team this past week, but her 21-point, 12-rebound performance wasn’t enough to stop Shanghai as Australia’s Liz Cambage paced Shanghai to a 70-62 victory.
- On the books for Shanxi Rui Flame (9-11) for her fourth-straight season is Maya Moore, who took the first part of the season off and will soon join her team to help the Flame fight for its fourth-consecutive China championship.
France & Turkey
In addition to the athletes listed above in the EuroLeague and EuroCup, there are a few more USA National Team athletes competing in the French and Turkish leagues.
- Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is suiting up for Flammes Carolo in Charleville, France and, has helped her team to a 5-3 mark in French league play. She is averaging 6.0 ppg. and 2.0 apg.
- Bria Hartley and Angel McCoughtry suit up for Mersin (5-2) in Turkey. Hartley is averaging 20.5 ppg. and 3.5 apg., while McCoughtry is contributing 21.0 ppg., 9.0 rpg. and 3.0 apg.
- Odyssey Sims played one game for the top-ranked Abdullah Gul (6-1) Turkish squad, and contributed 20 points and two assists in that game. She is no longer with the club.