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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

U.S. rolls past China

Nneka Ogwumike and Jantel Lavender continued their push to make the U.S. squad for the upcoming FIBA World Championships with 16 and 14 points respectively as the U.S. defeated China 99-75 in an international friendly

Tina Charles topped the UConn contingent with 10 points while Diana Taurasi had nine points, Maya Moore eight points and Breanna Stewart six points.

I thought we played better than we did yesterday. Our offense, we got into some transition stuff. We made shots, which we didn’t do yesterday at the beginning of the game. We had a really good flow. We got contributions from a lot of people. I thought that first half was about as well as we’ve played.

And then the second half, we are trying to get as many people in as we can, which I think disrupted a little bit of the flow. And China made every shot in the second half – God bless them. All the shots they missed in the first half, they made every one in the second. So, it was good for us to be in that situation where it forced us to score every time down the court, because we couldn’t stop them.

I think it was a good experience for us to go through some things we probably are going to face when we get to Turkey. Every time we are in a situation that we haven’t seen before and one that forces us to react, I think it’s good preparation.

China had more points in the third quarter than they had in the entire first half. Does that worry you defensively?

Yeah. We’ve got some work to do. Defensively, we have to spend a lot more time, and we haven’t had a chance to do that. We were really good at what we practiced, and we practiced scoring points, so we were really good at that. The other part, we have to spend more time on it, for sure.

On France tomorrow:

They are younger than they were at the Olympics. They are trying to make that transition, but they still have a couple of experienced players. And they are home. They are going to have a great crowd helping them. They are very well organized. They run their stuff, and they try to get you to play defense for the whole shot clock. Hopefully, we can speed them up a little bit, like we did in London two years ago.

At this point in our preparations, we’re not so much concerned with what they do as opposed to what are we going to do that is going to help us down the road.

On the game:

We just focused on executing plays and running in transition. I think the second group that came off the bench did a great job just bringing energy and attacking them. Jantel (Lavender) did a great job down low, and Nneka (Ogwumike) finishing around the basket. So, everybody is just coming into their own and learning to play with each other, coming together.

How difficult is it to have chemistry knowing there are still decisions that have to be made?

You just have to play your game. You can’t focus on that. You have to play your game and control what you can, which is our style of play, what coach wants from us, what he asks from us. So, you have to do that, and just let the committee decide.

On France, which the USA met in the 2012 Olympic gold medal game:

I know they have good players. Sadrine Gruda and Celine Dumerc. I know they are just going to come out and try to play their game.


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