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USA Women’s Pan Am Team Falls To Australia’s World Championship For Young Women Team 78-70 7/19/03

BOSTON (July 19, 2003) -- After only two days of practice since arriving in Boston for a series of ‘friendly’ matches against the Australian and Brazilian Young Women World Championship teams, the U.S. Pan American Games Team (0-1) barely lost to Australia (2-1), 78-70 in the closing minutes of the game on Saturday.  The U.S. was led in points by Jenni Benningfield (Vanderbilt / Louisville, Ky.) and Nicole Powell (Stanford / Phoenix, Ariz.), who each accounted for 12 points, while Rebekkah Brunson (Georgetown / Oxon Hill, Md.) finished with 10.

The Pam Am team continues exhibition play on Sunday, July 20 against Brazil at Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena with a tipoff slated for 1 p.m. EDT.

“We started the first quarter off well and played well the last half of the second quarter,” said USA Pan American Games Team and University of Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan.  “We played a really good two-three zone and man-to-man and but in the third quarter our players just got really tired because they’re not used to this.  It’s going to take a little bit of time for them to get used to playing this fast and it’s going to take some more time to get the offense flowing because we’ve only been together for two days.  I expect everything to be fine, we just need to work on our timing.”

Behind Benningfield and Powell’s offensive domination, things looked optimistic in the first quarter after the pair scored the first 12 points for the U.S. and took a one-point lead, 12-11, at the 6:03 mark.  However, Australia stood strong and after a made jumper by Shelley Hammonds the Aussies took the lead, 20-18 at 0:43, and finished the quarter ahead, 22-18.

Upping its defensive effort, the Americans put up an impressive second period in which they limited Australia to 4-of-11 shooting overall while outscoring their opponents 17-9.  The U.S. squad finished the half with a slight 35-31 advantage over Australia  heading to into the break. 

Veteran USA Basketball forward Powell opened the second stanza by connecting on back-to-back 3-pointers which gave the U.S. team its largest lead of the game with a 10-point margin at 7:03.  However, the Aussies answered back and tied the score, 45-45, when Musselwhite rebounded the ball and finished with a trey.  She then grabbed a rebound and put in a jumper to take the lead at 47-45 with 3:30 remaining.

After a head-to-head defensive battle under the basket, both teams fought to stay in the game and thanks to perfect free throw percentage by the entire U.S. team, the score remained tight after Janel McCarville (Minnesota / Stevens Point, Wis.) and Barbara Turner (Connecticut / Cleveland, Ohio) completed all four shots at the charity stripe to closely trail Australia 53-52 at the end of the period.

USA’s Loree Moore (Tennessee / Harbor City, Calif.) opened the final quarter with a layup right away to give the USA a 54-53 advantage and after a Moore jumper at 7:10, the U.S. still held onto a one-point lead, 59-58.  However, the Australians answered back when Musselwhite sank a 3-pointer with 6:58 to go giving them a 61-59 lead and it appeared the U.S. was finished.  But with 1:35 left to go, Iciss Tillis (Duke / Tulsa, Okla.) completed a 3-pointer off an Ann Strother (Connecticut / Castle Rock, Colo.) assist, to pull the U.S. within four points at 74-70.  After a turnover on the Americans part in the next possession, the Australians threw the ball the length of the court and Tillis intercepted the pass but the team could not convert a basket and the U.S. never gained the lead again as the Australian’s World Championship For Young Women Team slid past the USA Pan Am team 78-70.

“We did a lot of things right today and there’s some things we need fix,” said Tennessee’s Moore.  “We just formed this team and it’s hard enough to do that in college much less on an international level.  We need to work on some small fundamental things like rebounding and communicating and so forth, but I know we’ll be okay.”

In a display of depth and balance, 10 of the 12 USA players scored.  In addition to Benningfield and Powell, Brunson was the only other U.S. player to score in double-figures after topping off at 10 points and a team high eight rebounds.

Australia’s Hollie Grima paced both teams with 22 points and Michelle Musselwhite accounted for 18 points. 

In the USA Women’s Pan American Games Team debut, the team shot 40.0 percent (28-70 FGs) overall from the field, and made 5-of-15 3-pointers (33.3 percent) and finished with a spectacular 100 percent made free throws (9-9 FTs).

Ryan is being assisted on the sidelines by Indiana University’s Kathi Bennett and University at Albany’s (N.Y.) Trina Patterson.  

?OFFICIAL BASKETBALL BOX SCORE -- G A M E   T O T A L S                         
Australia Junior World Team vs Women's Pan American Games                      
7/19/03  at Northeastern University                                           

                                                                               
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HOME TEAM: Women's Pan American Games                                          
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS                        
No.     N A M E           FG FGA FG FGA FT FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP   A TO BLK S MIN
4  Jamie Carey          *  1   6  1  4   0  0   0  2  2   1   3   5  4  0  0     18
6  Roneeka Hodges *  0  1   0  0   0  0   0  1  1   1   0   0  0  0  0      4
7  Ann Strother        *  1  6   0  0   0  0   1  2  3   4   2   3  1  0  1    16
11 Janel McCarville *  2  3   0  0   5  5   4  0  4   1   9   1  0  1  2    18
12 Nicole Powell       * 5 10   2  3   0  0   1  3  4   1  12   4  1  2  2  24
5  Loree Moore             3  6   0  1   0  0   0  2  2   2   6   2  1  0  1    23
8  Barbara Turner         3  7   0  1   2  2   1  0  1   0   8   3  5  0  1    24
9  Iciss Tillis                  2  6   1  2   0  0   1  2  3   0   5   0  1  0  1      9
10 Laurie Koehn           1  4   1  4   0  0   0  0  0   0   3   0  0  0  0     11
13 Jenni Benningfield   6 12   0  0   0  0   2  2  4   0  12   0  1  2  1  23
14 Rebekkah Brunson   4  9   0  0   2  2   4  4  8   1  10   1  4  3  1  28
15 Lindsay Taylor          0  0   0  0   0  0   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  0  0     2
TEAM ........................................   3  1  4              1         
TOTALS                    28 70   5 15   9  9  17 19 36  11  70  19 19  8 10 200
                                                                               
TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  0- 0  .000   2nd Half: 28-70  .400   Game:  .400   DEADBALL
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  0- 0  .000   2nd Half:  5-15  .333   Game:  .333   REBOUNDS
F Throw % 1st Half:  0- 0  .000   2nd Half:  9- 9 1.000   Game: 1.000      0   
                                                                               
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OFFICIALS:                                                                     
TECHNICAL FOULS:                                                               
Australia Junior World Team   -  none                                          
Women's Pan American Games    -  none                                          
ATTENDANCE:                                                                    
SCORE BY PERIODS:                  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  OT1  OT2   TOTAL        
Australia Junior World Team         22    9   22   25         78        
Women's Pan American Games     18   17   17   18        70        


 









 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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