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 posting another impressive performance from beyond the arc after shooting 7-of-10 to lead her squad to victory; Angel McCoughtry scoring 24 points in a loss (but continues to lead the Turkish league for scoring at a clip of 25.0 ppg.); and Doug Bruno notching his 600th collegiate victory at DePaul.
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 16-0 on the season after earning a 104-49 victory over Temple last Saturday. UConn is on a 53-game winning streak, which spans to last season. Stewart leads the Huskies this season with averages of 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds a game. In 130 career games, she has scored 2,252 points to rank second on the program’s list of all-time scorers, trailing Tina Charles (2,346) by just 94 points. She also ranks ninth for rebounds (980) and third for blocked shots (334) The Huskies take on No. 19/16 USF tonight in Hartford and then face Southern Methodist in Dallas on Jan. 23.
USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno his No. 25 Blue Demons (14-6) won both games last week – a 70-53 victory over Xavier and an historic 61-54 win over Butler. The victory over Butler was Bruno’s 600th victory as a collegiate head coach and makes him the fourth active NCAA Division I head coach to record 600 wins at the same school, joining Auriemma, Harry Perretta (Villanova) and Robin Selvig (Montana). Next up for the Blue Demons is a game against Creighton at home in Chicago on Jan. 22.
Also listing an unbeaten record are USA National Team assistant coach Dawn Staley’s No. 2-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, who improved to 17-0 with wins over No. 9 Kentucky (73-62) and went down to the wire against No. 15/11 Texas A&M before coming away with a 59-58 squeaker. Next up for the Gamecocks is a Jan. 21 contest against Auburn.
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.
Three weeks remain on the EuroLeague regular season schedule and teams are fighting for playoff spots as just the top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals. However, there is consolation for the fifth- and sixth-place finishers as those teams will qualify for the EuroCup quarterfinals.
DYNAMO KURSK (7-4):
- Receiving 15 points apiece from Nneka Ogwumike and Seimone Augustus, Dynamo Kursk topped Good Angels Kosice (3-8) 64-53 in Slovakia as Ogwumike finished with a double-double after hauling in 12 boards, while Augustus also contributed six caroms and three assists. Trailing 35-25 at halftime, Kursk picked up its first road win of the season after outscoring the hosts 14-4 in the third quarter and 25-14 in the fourth.
- Ogwumike is second in the EuroLeague field for scoring with 18.5 ppg. and third with five double-doubles.
- Kursk is in good position for one of the four playoff spots in Group A and would advance if play ended today.
- Next Up: ESBVA-LM (5-6) in France on Jan. 27.
- DeWanna Bonner, Kayla McBride and Nadezhda Orenburg (8-3) earned a 66-58 victory over Tango Bourges Basket behind 20 points and nine rebounds from Bonner and 13 points from McBride.
- Bonner is leading her team with 17.0 ppg. and 9.9 rpg., while McBride is second in scoring at 13.9 ppg.
- While it hasn’t clinched a quarterfinals berth yet, Nadezhda is in good position in Group B, trailing just UMMC Ekaterinburg in the standings.
- Next Up: Agu Spor (5-6) in Turkey on Jan. 27.
UMMC EKATERINBURG (9-2):
- Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi helped assure a spot in the EuroLeague quarterfinals after firing UMMC Ekaterinburg (9-2) past Castors Braine (3-8) 78-52. Taurasi shot a blistering 7-of-10 from 3-point and finished with a game-high 26 points, and added sis rebounds, five assists and one steal. Griner had 10 points, four boards and one blocked shot in the win.
- Taurasi’s overally 3-point percentage (.444) ranks sixth in the league, however, this marked the third game of seven made 3s for Taurasi this season in EuroLeague games and she has hit 50.0 percent or better from afar in five of 11 games.
- Still holding the top spot in Group B, Ekat is trailed closely by Nadezhda Orenburg (8-3).
- Scoring at a clip of 20.5 ppg., Taurasi leads all EuroLeague scorers. She also is tops in 3-pointers made per game (3.6), second in fouls drawn per game (5.5) and third in free throws made per game (3.8) and free throw percentage (.913).
- Griner is averaging 12.3 ppg., 7.6 rpg. and 1.7 bpg.
- Next Up: Spar Citylift Girona (3-8) at home on Jan. 27.
- Jantel Lavender and Fenerbahce (10-1), which were previously assured of advancing, extended its hold on Group A with a 69-52 win over Sopron in Hungary (1-20). Lavender produced an 18-point, 18-rebound performance.
- Lavender is averaging 10.9 ppg and 8.9 rpg. through 11 EuroLeague contests.
- Notable: Former DePaul standout and sister to 2015 USA U16 National Team assistant coach Samantha Quigley, Allie Quigley scored 15 points, and former USA Basketball Junior National Team member Marissa Coleman added 10 points for Fener.
- Next Up: Perfumerias Avenida (4-7) at home on Jan. 27.
ZVVZ USK PRAGUE (7-4):
- Candice Dupree and defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague (7-4) halted Wisla Can-Pack’s (5-6) five-game winning streak, 78-57. Dupree topped out as her team’s high scorer with 16 points and also grabbed four rebounds in 21 minutes.
- Bringing in Dupree for the injured Robinson has been paying off for Prague, which has won three straight EuroLeague contests with Dupree on its roster and is sitting in good position for one of the quarterfinals slots.
- Dupree is averaging 14.7 ppg. and 4.0 rpg. through three games.
- Next Up: Castors Braine (3-8) at home on Jan. 27.
EuroCup (off last week)
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 advanced to the round of eight, which will be played Jan. 28 and Feb. 4. 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.
- Stefanie Dolson returned to Turkey and is competing for Edirnespor (5-3), which was knocked out of the playoffs in the round of 16. However, her club is still competing in the Turkish league, but currently sitting near the bottom of the 14-team standings at No. 11 with a 4-11 mark.
- 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, where she will face Reyer Venezia (6-2) in the round of eight beginning on Jan. 28. With a 6-9 record, Besiktas is in 10th place in the Turkey standings. Venezia swept TTT Riga in the round of 16 in order to advance to the round of eight.
- Also playing in Turkey is Courtney Vandersloot, who is suiting up for Orduspor (4-4) this year, and bowed out in the round of 16. Her team is also 4-11 in the Turkey standings.
The Chinese league has concluded the final pre-playoffs stage and all three teams with USA National Team representation are still alive and in the hunt for the title. However, the playoff schedule has not yet been posted.
- This marks the first season in China for Tina Charles, who is playing for Xinjiang. Her team boasts a 9-3 record in stage three Group 1 contests. Charles is currently averaging a league fourth-best 24.0 ppg. and a league fifth-best 12.1 rpg.
- Sylvia Fowles played last season for the Shanghai Octopus and is this year is competing for Beijing Great Wall, which finished second in the stage three Group 1 standings with a 7-5 record. She is averaging a league ninth-best 19.1 ppg. and a league sixth-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, which is 6-6 in Group 2 standings in stage three, 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. Moore is averaging a league-leading 3.3 spg., second-best 28.4 ppg., fifth-best 3.4 apg. and 10th-best 8.3 rpg.
France & Turkey
In addition to the EuroLeague and EuroCup athletes listed above, a few more USA National Team players are competing only in the French and Turkish leagues.
- Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is suiting up for Flammes Carolo in Charleville, France and, has helped her team to an 8-4 mark in French league play, including a 57-53 victory this past week over Angers (3-9). She is currently averaging 10.3 ppg.
- Bria Hartley and Angel McCoughtry suit up for Mersin (10-5) in Turkey and despite receiving 24 points from McCoughtry and 18 from Hartley, they dropped their game last week to Fenerbahce (11-4), 71-67. McCoughtry is averaging a league-high 25.0 ppg. and 7.4 rpg., while Hartley is contributing 14.9 ppg. and 4.4 apg.