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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, July 25, 2011

UConn trio leads U.S. past China

After three relatively uneventful games at the FIBA Under-19 World Championship, the United States was pushed to the limit by China on Monday.

Powered by UConn incoming freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis' team-high 19 points to go with six rebounds, four assists and two steals as well as strong games from UConn rising sophomores Bria Hartley (18 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals) and Stefanie Dolson (12 points, eight rebounds and two assists) the U.S. held on for an 80-77 victory. UConn commit Breanna Stewart added nine points and eight rebounds as the U.S. improved to 3-0 in Pool E play (earlier wins over Japan and Russia carry over to the second round of round robin).

Jiayi Zuo, who came into the game averaging 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1 assist per game, finished with a game-high 23 points and added five rebounds and four assists for China.

Following the game, U.S. head coach Jen Rizzotti was rather complimentary about Hartley, who has been nothing short of sensational during the tournament.

"I still continue to be amazed at Bria Hartley's guts and her willingness to take the big shot, make the big play," said Rizzotti, who was no slouch in that department during her time as a point guard at UConn. "Then on the other side of the ball, turn around and guard the other team's best player. Obviously it was nice to have Kaleena show up today and knock down some shots for us."

China trailed 58-46 at the start of the fourth quarter but rallied to tie the game at 72. Mosqueda-Lewis hit her fifth and final 3-pointer of the game just 6 seconds after China tied the game. After China pulled within 75-74, Hartley drained a 3-pointer but China answered with a 3 of its own to make it 78-77 with 43 seconds to play. Hartley found Dolson for a layup with 29.6 seconds to go for the final points of the game.

The U.S. will play Italy on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. before wrapping up Pool E play on Wednesday against Canada. Barring any upsets on Tuesday, the Canada/U.S. game will be for the Pool E title.

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