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

Preview: USA vs. China

  • Author:
    Ryan Gregory, IUPUI Sports Capital Journalism Program
  • Date:
    Sep 23, 2018

The USA Basketball Women’s World Cup Team (1-0) will continue Group D play when it meets China (1-0) at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, and the game will be broadcast in the United States on ESPN+.

The USA, No. 1 in the FIBA ratings, is undefeated in five previous World Cup matchups with China. The closest game was a 10-point USA victory in 1983, their first World Cup meeting.  

China’s average age is 23 years old, the youngest team in the tournament. The average age of the USA roster is 27.5, the third-most experienced squad in the tournament, behind Senegal at 28.7 and Spain at 28.3.

“Of course experience helps out a lot,” said forward Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury). “But, young or old, it’s about playing hard and playing smart basketball. We know they’re going to come out with a lot of pride and play hard. We’re going to have to bring it.”

China, currently No. 10 in the FIBA rankings, struggled in its first matchup of pool play, which was a 64-61 victory over Latvia on Saturday. Rising star center Yueru Li sometimes appeared frustrated by the stingy Latvian defense and found herself on the bench after three fouls in as many quarters. She was held to just six points, far from the 17.2 she averaged in the FIBA Asia Cup, China’s qualifier for the FIBA World Cup.

The burden of scoring then fell to forward Ting Shao. She led the team with 15 while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor. Guard Liwei Yang contributed 10 points.

“Number 14 (Li) getting in foul trouble really impacted the game,” said USA Basketball assistant coach Jen Rizzotti (George Washington), who scouted China. “She sets a tone for them in terms of getting baskets and opening up the floor for the shooters. She didn’t play much today. I definitely expect her to come out against us tomorrow and try to set the tone.”

China towered over Latvia but struggled to consistently rebound. China’s average height, 6-foot-2, is two inches taller than Latvia’s average of 6-foot. Li, 6-foot-7, and Xu Han, 6-foot-9, struggled to secure defensive rebounds against the likes of Aija Putnina and Anete Steinberga, both 6-foot-3.

China’s size can be intimidating, but Rizzotti was confident.

“We have size of our own,” Rizzotti said. “Our big players, so many of them can move away from the basket. We just have to be patient. Their post players got in a lot of foul trouble today. We have to move the ball inside and outside and take advantage of mismatches.”

USA and University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley maintains a similar attitude. She has faith in her players to do what they do.

“Against China or anybody, we’re going to lean on our experience,” Staley said.


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

~~~

The USA will be in the hunt to earn a 10th World Cup gold medal at the 2018 FIBA World Cup Sept. 22-30 in Tenerife, Spain. Follow along on the team’s journey on usab.com and through USA Basketball’s social media as the team goes for gold.

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

Brittney Griner has won three gold medals and compiled a 34-2 record in a USA Basketball jersey.

The dynamic duo of Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart were the one-two punch that helped lead the Seattle Storm to a fourth WNBA title – all four of which featured Bird.

Seimone Augustus has won seven gold medals with USA Basketball.

In recognition of her selfless act to defer her athletic career to pursue criminal justice reform, two-time Olympic and two-time FIBA World Cup gold medalist Maya Moore has been named as the recipient of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s 2020 Jack Kelly Fair Play Award.

One of the most decorated athletes in USA Basketball history, Sue Bird has a career 142-6 record in a USA jersey.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?