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Ashley Owusu

Quotes: USA 71, Brazil 60

  • Date:
    Jun 18, 2021

Game Story

USA head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina)
What was going on with your team there in that first quarter? Was it something that you guys weren't doing? Or was it something Brazil was doing? Or maybe a combination of both?

I think was a combination of both. Coming in with a young basketball team like we have, they're not used to international play, and Brazil is very used to international play, and they know how to impose their will on a team like this. It just took us a little bit longer than we wanted to adjust – and that’s to the physicality of it, that's the pressure of taking passing lanes away, applying a lot of pressure on the ball. We just had to exhale and see the floor a little bit better, pick up our defense a little bit better. Once the game settled in, I thought we flipped it and we utilized our depth to get a big win against a really good Brazilian team.

But did you say anything to the team at halftime to kind of light that fire and ignite that comeback?
The only thing I said was that we have to play with a lot more grit. I thought we were casual at times when Brazil was just really getting after it. They were taking the ball out of our hands. They were getting all the 50-50 and the hustle play. In order for us to get back in the game the way we needed to, we had to win that battle, and then we just make some layups. I thought we missed a lot of layups in the first half. Once we were able to figure that out, I thought we put Brazil back on their heels and kind of put them under a little bit more pressure than we were in the first half.

What was it like for you to watch Kamilla Silva play? (Silva is a transfer for the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team.)
Camilla, she's a force inside. Obviously, we know her well as a shot-blocker, as a rebounder. For me, I'd like to see a little bit more aggressive offensively, and that's probably the priority for us when she comes to South Carolina, is to get her a lot more aggressive shooting the basketball – that's in the paint, that's outside the paint. Looking forward to helping her help her national team in the future.

Veronica Burton (Northwestern/Newton, Mass.)
How good is this experience for younger players like you going up against more experienced players, and especially this Brazil team?
It's been an amazing experience. I'm new to this. I've never played international basketball, so it's a learning experience for sure. The physicality is different. The intensity level, everything. To get this opportunity to play with the players that I'm playing with and under the coaches, it's been unreal. I think I'm getting better each day, and I'm just excited to be here for sure.

Elissa Cunane (NC State/Summerfield, N.C.)
How did it feel to make that last 3-pointer in the game?
It felt so good to finally get my shot to fall, even if it was at the end of the game. Hopefully it will still be there tomorrow.

How was the game overall?
It was fun. It was definitely the toughest game we've played so far. It was really tough in the first half. Then we came out in the second half with intensity and finished strong. So, I was really proud of us for going through that, and now we're ready for the next game.

What adjustments did the team make after halftime?
We had to take care of the ball better and play better defense and do what we were capable of. We switched defense on the screens a little bit, and I think that really helped. We were more tenacious and took care of the ball.

Rhyne Howard (Kentucky/Cleveland, Tenn.)
How good did that win feel?
It was great, especially fighting back from being down in the first half. We got it together and we brought up the intensity and pulled out the win.

What was the difference in the second half?
We need to play to the level that they were playing and not be so slow and not be so casual. We had to be more physical.

Diamond Miller (Maryland/Somerset, N.J.)
How did it feel to get a chance to play today?
It felt good. I’m still not where I want to be, but just to get out there again it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it.

What do you think about the game overall?
I think we fought back, and we fought back really hard. We started out a little slow, and then the second half, we just put in a lot of intensity, and they didn't have an answer for us.

Ashley Owusu (Maryland/Woodbridge, Va.)
Can you talk about the effort the team gave tonight?
The first half wasn't what we wanted it to be, so we came into the locker room and talked about it and came out with the energy and intensity that we should have come out with from the beginning.


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