July 9, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. -- Aaryn Ellenberg's rapid start paced Team USA's 101-61 victory against the Czech Republic at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
The Sooner scored eight of the United States' first 13 points as the Americans routed their opponent for the second straight day.
Ellenberg scored 10 of her 12 total points in the first quarter and logged 21 of her 24 minutes of playing time in the first half.
"It helped to have everyone else running and finding me when I'm open, and just playing hard, really," Ellenberg said. "It will come to you if you just go get it."
Ellenberg was 5-of-12 from the field, hitting 2-of-5 3-pointers. The OU senior-to-be also grabbed six rebounds and two steals.
The U.S. led 21-11 after the first quarter and 48-27 at halftime before using its starters sparingly in the second half.
"We came out strong out of the gates in both the first and second half," Team USA head coach Sherri Coale said, "but I thought it was our defensive intensity that set the stage.
"Czech Republic can really shoot that ball. They have a lot of players who can score in a lot of different ways, but we sped them up. They got some looks, but they were rushed, everything was rushed, and we made them play a little faster than they were comfortable with playing."
The win leaves the USA (2-0) as the only undefeated team in its four-team group, securing advancement to the quarterfinal rounds of the tournament. Coale's squad will face Brazil (1-1) Wednesday at 3:30 a.m. Central, 12:30 p.m. local time.
Team USA, the defending World University Games champions, defeated Mali 120-32 in Monday's opening round.
"Fortunately we were able to play a lot of people," Coale said, "especially late in the game. I think again, having that depth tomorrow will help as we can play a lot of people again. There is not a big drop off from 1 through 12, so being able to keep them fresh I think is good. It will be a challenge, there is no doubt."
The World University Games are held biannually and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between January 1, 1989 and December 31, 1995), and are or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university.
USA Basketball women's teams have participated in 16 prior World University Games and collected a record eight golds, six silvers and one bronze medal. Further, since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the WUGs, the United States has compiled a 96-15 record. The United States is the defending World University Games champion.