menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset Share




Shop Now USA Basketball

USA Earns Hard-Fought 100-88 Win Over China

  • Date:
    Sep 23, 2018

Box Score
Additional Quotes
Photo Gallery

The USA Basketball Women’s World Cup Team (2-0) defeated China (1-1) 100-88 at Quico Cabrera Arena in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. The USA not only qualified for the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals, it extended its winning streak at the World Cup to 18 games.

The 12-point margin was the closest between the teams in 35 years.

In its first Group D game against Senegal, the USA started slowly and at one point trailed 10-2. While China did score the first basket, it enjoyed only 16 seconds with the lead. Tina Charles (New York Liberty) scored 10 of her 16 points in the first quarter to ensure a quick start for the USA and a lead that it would never relinquish. The USA held the lead for 38:41.

“It’s really important to get off to a quick start,” Charles said. “It can be anyone’s game. We’re going to get everybody’s best effort, so it’s really important that all of us step up individually and play as a team.”

While Charles provided the spark in the first quarter, it was Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm) who got the USA rolling in the second half. After scoring only two points in the first half, she raced out of the intermission to record 17 of the team’s 29 third quarter points.

Even with Stewart’s contribution, China refused to fade. Sun Mengran scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter to keep China in the game, which Staley attributed to her team’s defensive play.

“China’s a really good basketball team and they took advantage of us just not being a cohesive unit on defense,” Staley said. “That is a thing of which we are a work in progress. We have a day in between to work on some things.”

The game was a battle of promising young post players. A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces), a 6-foot 5 forward and the WNBA Rookie of the Year, led the way. She came off the bench to finish with 20 points in 23:21 of playing time. Wilson’s six rebounds tied for team high. Her three blocks and three steals led the USA.

China was the beneficiary of a spirited effort from 6-foot-9 center Han Xu, who led her team in scoring with 20 points while collecting five rebounds and rejecting two shots. The 18-year-old Han matched up with 22-year-old Wilson often in the post in what could be an entertaining matchup for years to come. Wilson is open to the idea.

“It’s always good to build that kind of overseas rivalry,” Wilson said. “That’s how you get better. She had a great performance, and it’s good to go against people like that.”

In the final seconds, as Han left the court to extended applause from the crowd of 1,979, she placed her hands together, smiled, and bowed toward each side of the court. As the teams passed each other in the handshake line, Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), who did not play because of an ankle injury, nodded her approval when she greeted Han. Griner is listed at day-to-day.

“She was hard to deal with,” USA and University of South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said of Han. “One, because she’s so efficient on the inside, and she’s so efficient on the outside. She reads defenses extremely well. We had to make several adjustments to how she was performing out there tonight. Fortunately for us, we have a lot of bigs we can rotate on her to give her different looks. But, you can see that at the end of the day, she had a pretty good day against us.”

With Monday off, the USA will finish up Group D play Tuesday against Latvia (0-2), at 1 p.m. EDT.

“I’m super proud of our team to be able to pull out a win and put some points on the scoreboard,” Staley said, “while the ‘under construction’ sign is up on our defense.”


Ryan Gregory is a contributor to as part of the Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI.

Related Tags:

Related Videos

Dawn Staley, playing in her third Olympic Games, was elected by her peers - all U.S. team captains - to carry the flag and lead the U.S. delegation into the 2004 Opening Ceremony. She reflects back on her selection and what it meant to her.

Several notable athletes on the USA National Team sat out most, if not all, of the 2019 WNBA season and are gearing up to get back on the court with their pro teams as the league launches the 2020 season.

USA Basketball National Team standouts Nneka Ogwumike and Napheesa Collier offer their thoughts and insights to seven of the nation's best collegiate athletes in USA Basketball's first Junior National Team panel discussion.

The 2018 USA Basketball Women’s National Team overcame a 16-point deficit in a 74-68 win over Canada on Sept. 8, 2018 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The USA outscored Canada by 18 points in the final two quarters to avoid its first loss on home soil since a 65-64 exhibition defeat at the University of Tennessee on Nov. 7, 1999.

Four years ago, after the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s National Team had been together for less than a week and played one exhibition against the USA Select Team (a game that will be re-aired in two weeks), the USA squad traveled from Los Angeles to Newark, Delaware, for an exhibition game against France. Tina Charles finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists, and the U.S. used a potent second half performance to seize an 84-62 victory.

The home of the Blue Hens also was home to Elena Delle Donne during her collegiate career. It was where during her four years, she helped lead UD to a 104-32 record (.765 winning percentage), the 2013 NCAA Sweet Sixteen, 2012 NCAA second round, a pair of WNITs, two Colonial Athletic Association regular season titles and two CAA tournament crowns.

Related Content

The victory assured the United States its berth into the FIBA AmeriCup 2022.

The USA shot 51.4% from the field, 41.4% from 3-point and dished out 22 assists.

Thirteen players will participate in the USA’s Nov. 23-28 training camp to determine the 12-man roster for the November 2020 FIBA AmeriCup qualifying games.

Plans were announced to hold the second window of the FIBA AmeriCup Men's Qualifying Group D games at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis from Nov. 29-30.

Following two days of trials featuring some of the top 2K gamers in the nation, USA Basketball has officially named the 2020 USA E-National Team.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?