Aug. 29, 2001
BEIJING, China - The USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team (5-1) defeated Brazil (3-4) 82-62 Wednesday night and advances to the medal semifinal round. Standford's Cori Enghusen (Bothell, Wash.) lead the squad in scoring with 13 points while Oklahoma's Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) recorded 12 points, five rebounds and 3 steals. With the win, the USA women claim first place in pool E and will face Lithuania (5-2) on Aug. 30 at 3:00 p.m. at the University Students' Gym.
I think our bench did a really good job of coming out and picking up for the players who needed a rest for the upcoming games," said Hill. "We needed a win and we got it and we gave our players who get a lot of minutes a rest and that's what our main goal was. I think tomorrow's semifinal will be a good game. We have to focus on beating Lithuania."
Brazil kicked off the game with a 7-2 run which was answered by eight American points. The teams traded baskets and leads for most of the first period and at the end of the quarter the USA held a slight 19-15 advantage over the Brazilians. In the second quarter, the USA bench expanded the teams' lead behind eight from Hill and four from Oregon's Shaquala Williams (Portland, Ore.). With 1:56 to play in the second period, the USA squad led 37-27. The USA was called for 17 fouls in the first half, sending Brazil to the free throw line 19 times, while Brazil was only called for seven fouls and the USA players never went to the line in the game's first 20 minutes.
Brazil went on a 5-0 run to close out the first half and a 7-0 run to start off the third period, taking over the lead, 38-37, at the 9:04 mark. The Americans responded with a 30-6 run to close out the third quarter 67-44. In the fourth quarter, the USA extended their lead to as many as 29 before cruising in for their 82-62 victory. Four players scored in the double digits including Enghusen, Hill and Lindsey Yamasaki (Stanford / Oregon City, Ore.) and Shereka Wight (Purdue / Copperas Cove, Texas) who chipped in ten points apiece.
The USA squad outrebounded Brazil 36-27. Ayana Walker (Louisiana Tech / Houston, Texas) grabbed a team-high six rebounds while Hill's five rebounds were matched by Wright, Carisse Moody (North Carolina State / Rocky Mount, N.C.) and Chantelle Anderson (Vanderbilt / Vancouver, Wash.).
"We were a little sluggish to start the game," said USA and University of Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan. "I thought we had to play with more energy. We came out in the second half and put the game away. I was able to play a lot of players which was good because we were getting tired. We've had two bad beginning games and we've had two very good starts. We battle back well in the second half. Once we get warmed up and on track we seem to play better."
"I think we all knew it was going to be a game that we weren't going to come in fired up for," said Yamasaki. "We have been playing well and knew we were going to advance to the semifinals anyway. We came out in the first half and didn't play well because we didn't play our type of basketball. In the second half we came back out and knew what we needed to do. People stepped up and everyone was able to contribute."
The USA - Lithuania semifinal game will be followed by the Czech Republic (5-1) - China game (5-1). The winners will advance to the gold medal game which will be played on Aug. 31 at 7:00 p.m. at the Capital Gymnasium. All times are local Beijing, China time which is 12 hours ahead of EDT. Ryan is assisted by University of Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder and East Carolina University (N.C.) head coach Dee Stokes.
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 73-15 (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.