Aug. 22, 2001
Norman, Okla. - Oklahoma's Caton Hill was one of six players to score in double figures as the USA Women's Basketball World University Team (1-0) defeated South Africa, 134-37, in its opening game of the 2001 World University Games in Beijing Wednesday.
The Americans dominated the entire game and with 4:43 to play in the first quarter held a 26-4 lead over South Africa. Ayana Walker (Louisiana Tech / Houston, Texas) recorded 11 of her game-high 27 points in the first 10 minutes, while Purdue's Shereka Wright (Copperas Cove, Texas) scored eight of her eventual 21 points during that time. Struggling to keep up with the USA's quickness, South African committed five fouls in the game's first three minutes, sending the USA women to the line nine times. The USA outscored South Africa 40-10 and 36-9 in the game's first two quarters respectively, while outrebounding South Africa 21-7 in the first half.
Hill, from Ada, Okla., recorded 17 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in just 25 minutes of play. The power forward also nailed 9-of-10 shots from the free throw line and tied Tennessee's Kara Lawson for a team-best four steals.
Rounding out the list of scorers were Oregon's Shaquala Williams (Portland, Ore.) with 16 points, Standford's Lindsey Yamasaki (Oregon City, Ore.) with 12 and Colorado's Jenny Roulier (Englewood, Colo.) with 10.
The USA started the second half on a 14-0 run, leading 90-19 at the 6:28 mark. The Americans continued to increase their lead and stood ahead by 80 points, 107-27, at the end of the third quarter and then sailed in for the 134-37 win. South Africa could not stand up to the American defense as the USA forced 35 South African turnovers while only giving up four.
"I thought that our defense really fueled our offense," said USA Basketball Women's World University Games and University of Virginia Head Coach Debbie Ryan. "We started the game off by really pressuring South Africa, getting in the passing lane and pushing the ball, which helped us get to a really quick start. We scored 76 points in the first half which is a lot of points for one half. I was really pleased with the defensive effort though because that's what really fueled us.
The USA Women conclude World University Games preliminary round play on Thursday, Aug. 16 against China at 7 p.m. (local).
The 2001 World University Games features 17 teams that have been divided into four preliminary round pools. The United States is in Pool B with Canada, Japan and South Africa. 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.