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 is publishing weekly updates on what the athletes and coaches are doing with their different programs.
Highlights of the past two weeks include: Diana Taurasi sending in a stunning seven 3-pointers and finishing with 29 points to lead UMMC Ekaterinburg to victory, Candice Dupree helping defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague to a second win in as many weeks since her arrival, and a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double from Jantel Lavender in another Fenerbahce win.
USA and Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, along with senior All-American Breanna Stewart and the rest of the No. 1 Huskies are a perfect 15-0 on the season after earning wins last week over Houston (76-37), USF (75-59) and Memphis (86-46). Stewart is averaging 19.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks a game. Next up for the Huskies, who are riding a 52-game winning streak, is a Jan. 16 game at home against Temple.
USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno his Blue Demons (12-6), currently ranked 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll split a pair of home games last week, taking down Georgetown 75-53 and falling in a close battle to Villanova, 64-60. Next up for the Blue Demons is a game against Butler in Indianapolis on Jan. 15.
Also listing an unbeaten record are USA National Team assistant coach Dawn Staley’s No. 2-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, who improved to 15-0 with wins over Vanderbilt (71-61) and Missouri (83-58) in the past week. Up next for the Gamecocks is a game against No. 9 Kentucky tonight in Lexington.
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 Candice Dupree joined defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague (Czech Republic) over the holiday break, replacing an injured Danielle Robinson.
DYNAMO KURSK (6-4):
- Despite receiving 19 points and eight boards from Nneka Ogwumike and nine points from Seimone Augustus, Dynamo Kursk dropped its game this week on the road against Beretta Famila Schio (7-3), which bumped the Russian squad down to third place in Group A standings.
- Kursk is struggling on the road and each of its four losses came on another team’s court. With three away games remaining in the regular season, there is still time to figure out how to win on the road.
- Ogwumike is second in the EuroLeague field for scoring with 18.8 ppg., added 30 points, 11 rebounds three assists and three steals while shooting an incredible 81.0 percent in the win.
- Notable: Jolene Anderson, a gold medalist on USA Basketball junior teams, posted a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards for Schio.
- Next Up: Good Angels Kosice (3-7) in Slovakia on Jan. 20.
- After an upset of Group B’s top-ranked UMMC Ekaterinburg, DeWanna Bonner, Kayla McBride and Nadezhda (7-3) fell 67-59 to defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague in the Czech Republic. Bonner finished with game-highs of 20 points and 13 boards, while McBride added 10 points in the loss, which saw Candice Dupree notch 14 points for USK.
- Bonner is leading her team with 16.7 ppg. and 10.0 rpg., while McBride is second in scoring at 14.0 ppg.
- Next Up: Bourges Basket (4-6) at home on Jan. 20.
UMMC EKATERINBURG (8-2):
- Brittney Griner and Diana Taursi, along with their UMMC Ekaterinburg (8-2) teammates, had no issue dispatching Wisla Can-Pack (5-5), 89-48, to halt a five-game winning streak by the Polish club. Taurasi fired off 7-of-11 from 3-point and finished with a game-high 29 points in 26 minutes, while Griner was held to two points, and added five rebounds and two steals in 22 minutes.
- Scoring at a clip of 20.0 ppg., Taurasi leads all EuroLeague scorers. She also is tops in 3-pointers made per game (3.3), second in fouls drawn per game (5.5) and third in free throws made per game (3.9) and free throw percentage (.907).
- Griner is averaging 12.5 ppg., 8.0 rpg. and 1.8 bpg.
- Next Up: Castors Braine in Belgium on Jan. 19.
- Jantel Lavender and Fenerbahce (9-1) remain atop Group A after earning a 77-54 win over ESB Villeneueve D’Ascq (5-5) behind 19 points and 10 caroms from Lavender.
- Notable: Former DePaul standout and sister to 2015 USA U16 National Team assistant coach Samantha Quigley, Allie Quigley scored 10 points and passed off five assists, and former USA Basketball Junior National Team member Marissa Coleman added eight points and four assists for Fener.
- Next Up: Uniqa Sopron (1-9) in Hungary on Jan. 20.
ZVVZ USK PRAGUE (6-4):
- Candice Dupree and defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague (6-4) upset Nadezhda (7-3) at home, 67-59, with the help of 14 points and five boards from Dupree.
- Former USA Basketball gold medalist on the junior level, Kia Vaughn notched a game-high of 22 points and grabbed eight boards in the win.
- Next Up: Wisla Can-Pack (5-5) in Poland on Jan. 20.
The 2015-16 EuroCup preliminary rounded concluded prior to the holiday break, and 16 teams advanced to the round of 16. All playoff rounds are two-game series (home and away) with the aggregate score of the two games determining which team advances to the next round. The winners of the round of 16 advance to the round of eight. The winners of that round will combine with four teams from the EuroLeague for the quarterfinals, and from there, the semifinals and finals will be played in a knockout format. Playoffs continue Jan. 14.
- Stefanie Dolson returned to Turkey and is competing for Edirnespor (5-3), which was knocked out of the playoffs after an 89-80 loss to Basket Landes (6-2). The teams split the two-game series, but Basket Landes won overall by a mere four-point margin, 152-148. Dolson scored 12 points and grabbed 13 boards in the loss.
- In EuroCup play this season, Cappie Pondexter is signed with Turkey’s Besiktas JK (4-4) and is averaging a league-leading 21.0 ppg. in helping her club to the round of eight, despite a 80-70 loss to Istanbul Universitesi (7-1) this week. Besiktas won the two-game series with a narrow aggregate score of 152-148. After scoring 25 points in the first game, Pondexter scored 17 points and added seven rebounds and three assists in the second game. USA Basketball gold medalist on the junior level, Elizabeth Williams averaged 17.5 ppg. and 11.0 rpg. for Istanbul Universitesi in the two games.
- Also playing in Turkey is Courtney Vandersloot, who is suiting up for Orduspor (4-4) this year, saw her EuroCup season come to an end with an 87-81 loss to Basketball Nymburk this week, bringing the aggregate score to 163-153 in favor of Nymburk. ‘Sloot averaged 6.5 apg. in EuroCup play this season, tops in the league.
The Chinese league is into the third stage and all three teams with USA National Team representation are still alive and in the hunt for the title. However, there is a break in action as no games were played since the most recent update below.
- This marks the first season in China for Tina Charles, who is playing for Xinjiang. Her team boasts a 4-3 record in stage three contests. Charles is currently averaging a league third-best 24.3 ppg. and a league fourth-best 11.7 rpg. Charles and Xinjiang fell to fellow USA Women’s National Team member Sylvia Fowles and Beijing Great Wall 73-60 on Jan. 7. Charles contributed nine points and 13 rebounds.
- Sylvia Fowles played last season for the Shanghai Octopus and is this year is competing for Beijing Great Wall, which is currently 6-1 in the third stage standings. She is averaging 19.0 ppg. and a league fifth-best 11.6 rpg. In her most recent game she led her team with 22 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in a 73-60 win over Charles and Xinjiang on Jan. 7.
- On the books for Shanxi Rui Flame (4-3) for her fourth-straight season is Maya Moore, who took the first part of the season off and returned in time for the third stage. She picked up where she left off last season, posting big numbers in her team’s past seven games and is currently averaging a league-best 29.4 ppg. and league-high 3.4 spg. In her most recent game, Moore contributed an eye-popping 43 points and 12 rebounds in a 89-79 win against Bayi.
France & Turkey
In addition to the EuroLeague and EuroCup athletes listed above, a few more USA National Team players are 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 7-4 mark in French league play, including a 74-63 victory this past week over COB Calais (3-9). She is currently averaging 10.6 ppg.
- Bria Hartley and Angel McCoughtry suit up for Mersin (10-4) in Turkey and aided their club wo a 77-58 victory over Abdullah Gul on Jan. 10. McCoughtry poured in 24 points and added six rebounds, four assists and five steals; while Hartley scored 12 points and dished out four assists. McCoughtry continues to lead the league with 25.1 ppg. and 2.8 apg., while Hartley is contributing 14.7 ppg. and a league ninth-best 4.3 apg.