July 12, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. -- Sherri Coale’s USA squad continued to roll at the World University Games, defeating Sweden 103-72 in Friday’s quarterfinal.
Coale is the head coach of the USA Basketball squad competing in the second largest international athletics competition held this year in Kazan, Russia.
The Americans (4-0) faced their toughest challenge of the tournament yet, leading Sweden just 26-24 after the first quarter. Team USA, however, took a 51-40 advantage into halftime and outscored its opponent by 52-32 in the second half.
"Our defense in the second half was much better than it was in the first," Coale said. "We kept the ball in front and forced them into taking contested shots. We did a much better job on the defensive glass. They are a tremendous offensive rebounding team and go at it very hard. If you can block them out, then you have an advantage in transition on the other end. That was what we were able to do in the second half."
Oklahoma’s Aaryn Ellenberg scored four points, her first game outside of double figures, and grabbed five rebounds in 19 minutes.
The United States will play Australia, 72-58 winners of Canada, in Saturday's semifinal game at 12 p.m. Central. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.
Team USA shot 54 percent from the field and hit 10 of 24 3-pointers. Sweden managed to score on just 36 percent of its attempts and made only one of 19 3-point tries.
|USA 103, Sweden 72 | Coale's Journal from Russia | USA Basketball Team Page|
Eleven of 12 players on the USA roster scored and 10 counted double-digit minutes of playing time.
"That’s the great thing about having this squad; everybody on your bench can play and they’re capable of changing games," Coale said. "They’re all impact players in their own programs back in the states, so they’re prepared for that. They see themselves as being able to change the flavor of a game."
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 99-15 record.
Team USA is looking for its third straight and ninth overall gold medal at the World University Games women's basketball competition.