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.
Highlights of this past week include the announcement of 16 athletes who are expected to participate in the upcoming USA National Team’s training camp, as well as Breanna Stewart helping lead No. 1 UConn past No. 2 South Carolina with 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Sylvia Fowles had a 30-point, 13-rebound double-double to help lead her team into the semifinals and past three-time defending China champs Shanxi and Maya Moore.
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 23-0 on the season and riding a 60-game winning streak after earning two victories last week – most notably a 66-54 final over No. 2 University of South Carolina. Stewart, who logged 40 minutes against USC, had 25 points and 10 rebounds. Next up is a game at Temple on February 14.
USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno his No. 24 Blue Demons (19-7) captured a pair of victories last week, a 75-47 payback at Villanova and 80-66 victory at Georgetown. DePaul is now 11-2 in Big East play and stand alone atop the league standings. Next up is a game at home against Xavier on February 12.
USA National Team assistant coach Dawn Staley’s No. 2-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks dropped their first game of the season, a 66-54 loss to Connecticut, and now own a 22-1 record. However, Staley’s squad remains undefeated in Southeastern Conference games with a perfect 10-0 record on the season. Her six remaining games are all in the SEC, including a game tonight (2/11/16) at home against Florida.
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 this 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).
There was only one game last week in the best-of-three quarterfinals and Sylvia Fowles advanced Beijing to the semifinals in a win over three-time defending champ Maya Moore and Shanxi. Tina Charles (Xinjiang) and Candace Parker (Guangdong) advanced after two games. The semifinals series is a best-of-five and begins on February 16.
- Tina Charles and Xinjiang will next face Shanghai, featuring Australia’s Liz Cambage, in the semifinals.
- Sylvia Fowles competes for Beijing Great Wall, which defeated Shanxi 80-62 in the third and deciding game of the quarterfinals. Fowles led her club with 30 points on 12-of-16 from the field and hauled in 13 boards. Fowles is matched up against Parker in the semifinals.
- Maya Moore 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.
- Picked up by Guangdong for the quarterfinals, Candace Parker helped power her team past Shenyang and into the semifinals and will face Fowles in the next round.
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 (4-14), which was knocked out of the EuroCup playoffs in the round of 16, but is still playing in the Turkish league. Her team lost to Canik Bid (9-9) by a narrow 87-84 margin last week as Dolson posted a double-double of 21 points and 13 caroms. She is averaging 13.7 ppg. and 7.9 rpg. Next up is a game against Courtney Vandersloot and Gelistirenier (8-10) on Feb. 13.
- Angel McCoughtry suits up for Mersin (13-5) and scored 21 points in an 86-68 win over Botas (8-10) last week. McCoughtry leads the league with 24.8 ppg. and 2.6 spg. Next up is a game against Canik Bid (9-9) on Feb. 13.
- Courtney Vandersloot played for Orduspor (4-13), 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 (8-10), which fell to Fenerbahce (14-4) 75-67 last week, despite a 15-point, 7-assist performance from Vandersloot. She is currently ranked third among Turkish assist leaders (6.1 apg.) and second for steals (2.5 spg.). Next up is a game against Dolson and Edirne (4-14) on Feb. 13.