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 how the athletes and coaches are faring in their different programs.
There were no EuroLeague games last week. However, in China the Tina Charles-led Xianjiang squad went up two games to start the best-of-five semifinal series against Candace Parker and Guangdong, and Sylvia Fowles and her Beijing club split two games against Shanghai.
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 25-0 on the season and riding a 62-game winning streak after earning two victories last week. For her effort the previous week against South Carolina, Stewart, who is averaging 19.6 ppg. and 8.3 rpg., was named the ESPN National Player of the Week. Next up is a game at East Carolina on February 20. After that, the Huskies will close out their schedule with a three-game home stand prior to the March 4-7 American Athletic Conference Tournament.
USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno his No. 21/19 Blue Demons (21-7) also earned a pair of wins last week and will look to earn the Big East Conference outright regular season title with a victory on Feb. 19 over Providence. Bruno will travel to Omaha, Nebraska, to take on Creighton on Feb. 21 before joining the USA National Team’s training camp in Connecticut on Sunday night.
USA National Team assistant coach Dawn Staley’s No. 2-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks continue to roll through their schedule and now boast a 24-1 mark on the season, including a perfect 12-0 record in the
Southeastern Conference. Staley, who plays Georgia tonight, has a game on Feb. 22 at Alabama and will not be able to attend the USA training camp.
EuroLeague (off week)
Seven USA National Team members are currently competing on five different EuroLeague teams, including Seimone Augustus and Nneka Ogwumike with Dynamo Kursk (Russia), Jantel Lavender for Fenerbahce (Turkey), Jewell Loyd for Galatasaray (Turkey), Kayla McBride for Nadezhda (Russia) and Brittney Griner joined Diana Taurasi with UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia). Candice Dupree joined defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague (Czech Republic) over the holiday break, replacing an injured Danielle Robinson, but only competed in five games before having to bow out prior to the playoffs.
The regular season concluded last week and pairings are out for the best-of-three quarterfinals, which will be contested March 8, March 11 and, if necessary, March 16. Matched up for the next round are:
UMMC Ekaterinburg (Griner, Taurasi) vs. Galatasaray (Loyd)
Nadezhda Orenburg (McBride) vs. Dynamo Kursk (Augustus, Ogwumike)
Fenerbahce (Lavender) vs. Wisla Can-Pack
Famila Schio vs. ZVVZ USK Prague
DYNAMO KURSK (10-4):
- Dynamo Kursk finished in third place in Group A after defeating Perfumerias Avenida 72-66 in Spain. Playing without Augustus, Kursk received 10 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots from Ogwumike.
- Ogwumike is still second in the EuroLeague field for scoring with 17.1 ppg. and fifth for rebounds with 8.6 rpg. She also ranks first in field goal percentage (.581).
- Quarterfinals: Nadezhda Orenburg (9-5).
- Jantel Lavender and Fenerbahce finished atop Group A with a 12-2 mark after defeating cross-town rival Galatasaray (9-5) 71-60 to close the regular season.
- Lavender scored 26 points against Fener, and is averaging 13.4 ppg and 8.4 rpg., and has scored in double digits in each of the past nine games, including a streak of five games with 18 or more points.
- Quarterfinals: Wisla Can-Pack Krakow (7-7).
- Jewell Loyd and Galatasaray took the fourth spot out of Group A after dropping a 71-60 decision to Fener (12-2), despite a 22-point performance from Loyd, who has posted 15.5 ppg., 4.4 rpg. and 2.1 apg. over 14 EuroLeague games.
- Quarterfinals: UMMC Ekaterinburg (12-2).
- Kayla McBride scored just four points as Nadezhda Orenburg finished the season on a two-game skid after dropping its final contest 70-63 to Castors Braine (5-9).
- McBride is averaging 12.8 ppg. and 3.4 rpg., while shooting 45.6 percent from the field
- Quarterfinals: Dynamo Kursk (10-4).
UMMC EKATERINBURG (12-2):
- Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi helped UMMC Ekaterinburg to a 12-2 finish in the regular season for the No. 1 seed out of Group B. The team took down defending champ USK Prague (8-6) for the second time this season, 69-52. After a first half that saw Ekat finish up four points, 35-31 after a pair of Taurasi free throws, the visitors outscored Prague 34-21 in the second half. Despite shooting 2-of-10 from 3-point, Taurasi finished as the game’s leading scorer with 21 points and dished out four assists. Griner scored 14 points and pulled down five boards.
- Scoring at a EuroLeague-leading clip of 21.3 ppg., Taurasi has scored 19 or more points in each of her past eight games and has scored at least 30 points twice this season.
- Griner is averaging 12.6 ppg., 6.9 rpg. and a league second-best 1.6 bpg.
- Quarterfinals: Galatasaray (9-5).
The best-of-five semifinal round tipped-off last week and Tina Charles is up two games against Candace Parker, while Sylvia Fowles split her games and that series is guaranteed to go to at least four games. The next game in the semifinals round is slated Feb. 20.
- Tina Charles posted 30 points and 15 boards in Game 1 and 40 points and 20 rebounds in Game 2 as Xinjiang earned victories of 117-113 and 90-82 over Candace Parker’s Guagdong squad.
- Sylvia Fowles led Beijing with 28 points and six rebounds in a 68-66 loss in the first game, but posted 40 points and 12 caroms in Beijing’s 77-68 win. Fowles and Beijing are matched up against Shanghai and Australia’s Liz Cambage.
- Picked up by Guangdong for the quarterfinals, Candace Parker averaged 35.5 ppg. and 10.5 rpg. in her team’s two losses to Charles and Xinjiang.
- Maya Moore (season concluded) and three-time defending champion Shanxi Rui Flame bowed out of the playoffs in the third game of their quarterfinals series against Fowles, despite 33 points, including 10-of-11 from the line, and nine rebounds. She capped her short season averaging league-bests of 29.9 ppg. and 3.2 spg., to go with a 10th-best 8.3 rpg. and fifth-best 3.3 apg.
In addition to the EuroLeague athletes listed above, a three more USA National Team players are competing in the Turkish leagues.
- Stefanie Dolson is competing for Edirnespor (5-14), which was knocked out of the EuroCup playoffs in the round of 16, but is still playing in the Turkish league. She helped her team earn a 90-83 victory over Courtney Vandersloot and Gelistirenier heading into the break. Next up will be a Feb. 27 clash against Galatasaray (13-6).
- Angel McCoughtry suits up for Mersin (14-5) and also earned a victory heading into the late season break, an 83-72 win over Canik Bld (9-10). McCoughtry will go up against Vandersloot upon returning from the break.
- Courtney Vandersloot played for Orduspor (4-15), which also bowed out of the EuroCup round of 16, but finished her season ranked as the EuroCup assist leader with 6.5 apg. She since transferred clubs and is now on the record with Gelistirenier (8-11), which lost to Dolson’s Edirnespor. Next up is a game against McCoughtry and Mersin on Feb. 27.