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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

U.S. falls to Canada

In what turned out to be a game to decide the Group E champion in the FIBA Under-19 World Championships, the United States had no answer for the trio of Michelle Plouffe, her sister and Marquette rising sophomore Katherine Plouffe as well as Wumi Agunbiade.


Michelle Plouffe, who will be a sophomore at Utah, had 24 points and eight rebounds, Aguniblade had 15 points and Katherine Plouffe added 12 points in Canada's 64-52 victory.

Tennessee incoming freshman Ariel Massengale led the previous undefeated United States team with 17 points. UConn commit Breanna Stewart had eight points, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks. UConn rising sophomores Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson were a combined 3 of 12 from the floor.

The loss means that the U.S. will be the No. 2 seed out of Group E heading into Friday's quarterfinals and could end up having to play the top seed out of Group F in the semfinals if they win on Friday when they play France in the quarterfinals. France actually finished tied with Brazil and Australia in Group F but Brazil earned the top seed followed by Australia and France.

"It obviously changes our path to get to a gold medal opportunity, but I hope it makes a difference in a positive way," said U.S. head coach Jen Rizzotti. "Hopefully it wakes the kids up a little bit and proves to them that this isn’t the last two years where they’ve played against kids their age. We’re talking about 19-year-old kids who play in college. We just didn’t show the maturity today to be able to beat a team like Canada. They were great."

Here are some quotes from Hartley as well as Stewart and fellow UConn commit Morgan Tuck.

Bria Hartley
On today’s game:
Canada did a really good job of controlling the tempo of the game. They’re a team that likes to slow it down, run half-court sets. We let them do that and we didn’t really pressure them enough to get them out of that offense. They were in the flow the entire game and we didn’t disrupt that.

We just let it get away from us. We had to go that extra push. We tied it up, we had to get some stops, but we didn’t come through with our stops so they got the best of us.

Breanna Stewart
What was Canada doing to disrupt your game?
They did it with their two-three zone. They had that very compact in the paint. It was hard to get any movement in the post. They’re also very physical, which was hard.

On the USA’s shooting:Yeah, it was frustrating. If you’re taking open shots and missing the ones that usually go in, it gets frustrating after awhile.

Morgan Tuck
Were you a little shocked at Canada’s start to the game?
I don’t know if it was shocking. We didn’t really come out focused. By the way we were playing, we could tell that they were going to be up. We just have to go into the next game and be focused more.

Your team has been very up and down all tournament, what needs to be tightened up now that every game is a must-win game?Just having a mental focus. Everybody needs to be on the same page. Everybody needs to, from the beginning to the end of the game, be focused the entire time.

On the play of her high school teammate Ariel Massengale against Canada:Ariel definitely knew that she needed to step up in order for us to get back into the game. She did a great job of doing that.

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