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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wilson, Tuck lead U.S. into semifinals

UConn recruiting target A'ja Wilson had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Huskies' rising sophomore Morgan Tuck added 11 points as the United States defeated China 108-67 to reach the quarterfinals at the FIBA U-19 World Championship for Women on Friday.

UConn's Breanna Stewart had four points and 10 rebounds and Moriah Jefferson finished with four points and three assists as the U.S. advanced to meet Australia in the semifinals on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN3.

Tennessee rising sophomore Bashaara Graves had 13 points and eight rebounds while Kentucky incoming freshman Linnae Harper added 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the U.S. Kelsey Plum and Nia Coffey, who are incoming freshmen at Washington and Northwestern respectively, added 11 points each.

Here are quotes from Tuck and Wilson courtesy of the folks at USA Basketball.

MORGAN TUCK
How were you able to overpower a good team like Japan so quickly?
 It started in the first half with Bashaara and A’ja. They really established our inside presence. They were smaller, so we knew that’s what we had to do. Our guards did a good job for us, especially Moriah (Jefferson) really pushing the tempo.  We just continued doing that in the second half.

Was your game plan to pound the ball inside due to the height advantage?
Definitely. They were double- and triple-teaming, so we did a good job of kicking it out and then getting it back into the post for a layup. That was our big focus, getting it inside.

What do you expect to see from Australia tomorrow?
 I expect it to be very physical. When we played them in the Canary Islands, it was very physical. We were down the whole game, so I think we’re coming in with a chip on our shoulder that we don’t want to be the team that’s losing the whole time and then barely get a win.

A'JA WILSON
Was your size advantage helping you against Japan?
 Oh yes, a lot. Coach told us that they were going to be small, but I didn’t know they were going to be that small. She was like, ‘I want you to be 6-4, so don’t put the ball on the floor. Just look for your teammates and look for your shot.’ Once I really got used to not putting the ball on the floor, everything started to fall into place.

How were you feeling?
I felt good. I’m just trying to get used to the play out here, so I’m starting to really get it when I get in. I’m just playing my role and feeling good.

What do you expect to see against Australia?
 I expect to see their top game, their best game. That goes for any team out here when they play the U.S. They’re going their top and we’re going to play our top, so it should be a good game.

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