USA Basketball World University Games Team Advances to Medal Round with Win over Japan
Czech Republic Falls to China, 91-65, but still advances to Medal Round

2001 World University Games Schedule

August 25, 2001

BEIJING, China - In their final game of preliminary round play, the USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team (2-1), beat out Japan (1-2), 106-66, for second place in pool B and one of eight spots in the medal round. All 12 Americans scored against the Japanese, with Ashley McElhiney totaling 11 points and a game-high four steals in just 13 minutes of play. Chantelle Anderson totald foour points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. The USA squad begins three days of quarterfinal play on Monday, August 27 against Russia at 11:00 a.m (local). Zuzi Klimesova's Czech Republic team fell to China, 91-65, but advanced to the medial round also.

"Obviously we're excited," said Lawson. "We had our backs against the wall
coming into this game knowing we had to win in order to advance to the next
round. We're happy that we're about to start over with a clean slate and
move on.

"Japan is a great offensive team," continued Lawson. "They shoot the three
very well and they penetrate and they'll bring your post out. Going in we
knew we had to stop them from scoring. We didn't hit our shots against
Canada very well, but we were confident that they were going to fall tonight."
Japan went up 2-0 to start the game; however that would be their only lead
of the game as the Americans responded with nine unanswered points, leading
21-16 at the end of the first quarter. With 7:12 to play in the second
period, the Japanese hit two consecutive 3-pointers to come within one
point of the USA, 23-22. But that was as close as Japan would get as Ayana
Walker (Louisiana Tech / Houston, Texas) scored six points in the last two
minutes of the half to put the U.S. squad on top 42-32.

In the second half, the USA team picked up the pace, outscoring Japan 33-18
in the third quarter and 3116 in the fourth, cruising to their 106-66
victory over Japan. Walker finished with 18 points, followed by Stanford's
Lindsey Yamasaki (Oregon City, Ore.) and Vanderbilt's Ashley McElhiney
(Gleason, Tenn.) with 14 and 11 respectively. The USA women held Japan to
29.4% (5-17) from behind the arc, while shooting 72.2% (13-18) themselves
from 3-point range.

"I think we focused a little bit better on playing with our hearts rather
than trying to force things," said USA Basketball Women's World University
Games and University of Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan. "We just settled
down a little bit in terms of focusing on what we had to do today, not
worrying about tomorrow and not thinking about yesterday. We really just
went out and played good defense which is what fueled our offense and got
us the lead early. Then we really started to execute on offense which
helped a lot."

"This win was really refreshing," said Caton Hill (Oklahoma / Ada, Okla.) .
"In the last game (versus Canada) we lost our flow and our chemistry, but
in this game we definitely found them. We had fun playing today and
against Canada we lost the feeling of fun during the game. Japan was
definitely a great win for us."

With the win the USA women claim second place in preliminary pool B,
sending them into quarterfinal pool E with Brazil, China and Russia. The
squad will face Russia on Aug. 27 at 11:00 a.m., then meet China on Aug. 28
at 11:00 a.m., and will conclude quarterfinal play against Brazil on Aug.
29 at 7:00 p.m. All times are local.

"In the next pool we're going to face tougher competition in a different
way," added Ryan. "Japan was a very difficult team to play because they
play such a difficult style. Now we'll settle down with teams that play
more our style of basketball. We'll face very good opponents with Russia,
China and Brazil in our bracket. It'll be a very difficult pool, but we'll
be ready. We played very well tonight and I think we definitely learned
our lesson playing Canada."

Ryan is assisted by University of Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder and East
Carolina University (N.C.) head coach Dee Stokes. The 2001 World University Games features 17 teams that have been divided into four preliminary round pools. Tournament quarterfinals play gets underway Aug. 27, with semifinals being conducted Aug. 30 and the medal games being held Aug. 31. All times are local Beijing, China time which is 12 hours ahead of EDT.

The World University Games, held every two years and organized by the
International University Sports Federation (FISU), is a multi-sport
competition open to men and women between the ages of 17 and 28 (born
between Jan. 1, 1973 and Dec. 31, 1983) and who are, or have been within
the past year, a student at a college or university. The USA Women have
enjoyed outstanding success in the World University Games and have earned
11 medals in 12 appearances, including four golds, six silvers and one
bronze medal, and have compiled an overall record of 68-14 (82.9 winning
percentage) since beginning World University Games play in 1973. In the
last competition, which was held in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the U.S.
finished with a 4-2 record and the silver medal. The USA Women last earned
the World University Games gold in Sicily in 1997.


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