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Sunday, January 21, 2018

U.S. Women Collegians Claim World University Games Gold With 101-66 Rout of Taiwan

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Photo Caption: Stanford’s Nneka Ogwumike was one of the big reasons for the USA’s 62-22 margin in points in the paint. She scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting from down low and her seven drawn fouls resulted in 6-of-7 from the line. Over the course of the tournament Ogwumike shot an astonishing 65.3 percent from the field for 13.2 points in just 17.2 minutes per game.

Photo Credit: Courtesy USA Basketball




SHENZHEN, China—Four American players notched double digits as Team USA (6-0) claimed a record eighth World University Games gold medal in women’s basketball in Shenzhen, China on Sunday, August 21, with a 101-66 trampling of the Taiwan. The previously unbeaten Taiwanese settled for silver, while Australia (5-1) broke a late-game tie and took the bronze with a much closer, 66-56, win over Sweden (3-3) in Sunday’s undercard.

Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas) led the Americans with 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Also coming up big on the night was University of Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne (Wilmington, Del.), who barely missed a triple-double after contributing 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.



Photo Caption: Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne’s near-triple-double of 18 points, 11 boards and eight assists capped a dominating effort that spanned the tournament. Delle Donne led the talent-packed American squad in scoring with 15.7 points on 45.1 percent from the field and a sizzling 44 percent (11-of-25) from the arc in just 22.7 minutes per game on average, to which she added a team-high 8.5 rebounds, three assists (second only to Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins), and nearly a block a game.
Photo Credit: Courtesy USA Basketball



In all, four U.S. players scored in double digits. Nneka Ogwumike’s sister Chiney (Cypress, Texas), also of Stanford, added 10 points and six rebounds. Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind.) netted 19 points and dished out six of the USA’s WUG record-tying 27 assists. (The original record for U.S. assists at this event was set against South Africa by the 2005 USA squad.)

Photo Caption: Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins led not just Team USA but the entire tournament in assists, serving up 4.8 dishes per game. Diggins was also one of the Americans’ four-players averaging double-digit scoring, putting up 12.3 points per outing, and led the team in steals, grabbing 20 over the six days of the tournament, good enough for third-place in the tournament.
Photo Credit: Courtesy USA Basketball



USA Basketball has competed in a total of 16 World University Games (WUG), claiming gold at the last four in which it has entered a team (2001, 2005, 2009 and 2011). In all, the U.S. women now own a record eight golds, six silvers and one bronze medal and boast a 95-15 all-time win-loss record in WUG play. Taiwan’s silver marks its first women’s basketball medal ever at the World University Games, while Australia previously claimed gold once and bronze twice.

“We wanted to go to Nneka (Ogwumike) early and often, and we did,” said Bill Fennelly, USA World University Games Team and Iowa State University head coach. “I think (tonight’s game) was even better than the game she played two years ago (in the U19 World Championship gold medal game).  I think that says a lot about her, not just her talent, but her commitment and focus. You want your best players to step up at the biggest times, and a gold medal game is a good time to step up and do the things you can do.

“To our kids’ credit, we added an offense on our off day because we knew we had a size advantage,” he added. “We just wanted to pound it at them and we did. The kids were unselfish. We kept throwing it on the block and got a lot of easy baskets.”

The USA’s game plan of going inside early and often, making the most of its height advantage (Taiwan’s average height is 5-9 and the USA’s is 6-1), paid off in spades as the Americans outscored Taiwan, 62-22, in the paint on the night and got all but its final field goal of the first quarter from inside.

The two teams traded baskets for the first four minutes. However, with 4:49 to play in the first quarter and the score tied at 14-all, Notre Dame’s Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill.) took a feed inside from Delle Donne that put the USA on top for good, 16-14. The Peters bucket was the start of a mini 7-3 run by the U.S. that ended with a Nneka Ogwumike three-point play, and with 1:52 to play in the period the American women were on top 23-17. Holding a five-point, 26-21, lead near the end of the quarter, the USA closed out the stanza up 29-21 after USC’s Jacki Gemelos (Stockton, Calif.) sank a three-pointer.

Photo Caption: For USC’s Jacki Gemelos, the top recruit in the country when she graduated from Stockton, California’s St. Mary’s high school in 2006, a dream was realized even before the 2011 World University Games gold medal was hung around her neck. Gemelos has overcome four ACL injuries resulting in five knee surgeries to reignite her collegiate career last spring and to earn the right to represent the U.S. in international play. Gemelos notched five points and two assists in limited minutes in the championship game.
Photo Credit: Courtesy USA Basketball



“Our game plan was definitely to pound the ball inside,” said Nneka Ogwumike, who had 13 points in the first quarter. “We played Australia, which was whole different extreme. Their shortest post player was 6-3. And then today, we played Taiwan and their tallest person was 6-1. We just kind of took advantage of what they had and what we had, and we executed as best we could.”

Taiwan quickly cut the gap back to six points, 25-31, but the U.S. strung together a 9-0 run and began to pull away, 40-25, with 7:05 left in the half. Taiwan began to counter each America bucket and cut the gap back down to 11 points, 46-35, at the 3:38 mark. However, a three from Diggins sparked another streak of nine unanswered points that stretched the advantage to 20 points, 55-35. Taiwan got the first half’s final points, one of its eight 3-pointers on the night, and the first half ended with the American women holding a commanding 55-38 upper hand.

“They were a phenomenal team, and they definitely gave us a lot of challenges because the way they play is completely different than anything we’ve ever seen,” said Delle Donne. “They move the ball around really fast, and they just were a very fast team. So, we had to get used to the pace of the game, and I feel like after the first half, we got it under our belts and were ready to go and came out really strong.”

Taiwan managed to cut it again to 15 points early in the second half, 57-42, but that was as close as it would get for the remainder of the contest. The USA’s depth and size were just too much for the Asian side as it put together a 12-0 string to put the game well out of reach, 69-42, with 5:06 left in the quarter. By the end of the third period, the stars and stripes owned a 75-54 lead.

Taiwan nailed a three to start the fourth period, but Diggins answered with back-to-back three-pointers. Taiwan came back with another trey when Delle Donne hit the second of her threes on the night, spurring another a 12-0 run in which six different players scored, and suddenly it was a 33-point game, 93-60, with 4:08 still to play.

While the Taiwanese continued to play hard through the remainder of the game, they were just no match for the depth and strength of the gold medal winners.

“This has been a journey of a lifetime, and as coach said to us, ‘this hasn’t been just a three-month experience, it started from when we were young little girls growing up, dreaming of a moment like this.’ So, it’s incredible,” said Delle Donne, who averaged USA team highs of 15.7 ppg. and 8.5 rpg. throughout the tournament. “Words cannot even describe how incredible that felt. It felt really heavy for one, it’s an incredible medal. But it was such a special moment and to be standing next to my teammates. We worked so hard these past three weeks. I really can’t even describe it.”

Taiwan’s Yuchun Chen shot 3-of-6 from 3-point land and finished with a team-best 21 points, while Pinjen Huang was her team’s only other double-digit scorer with 11 points.

The USA, which owned a whopping 52-18 rebounding advantage, saved its best shooting for the final game as it shot a deadly 58.3 percent (42-72 FGs) from the field and an even 50.0 percent (7-14 3pt FGs) from 3-point, while its defense held Taiwan to 41.4 percent (29-70 FGs) shooting from the floor and 29.6 percent (8-27 3pt FGs) from beyond the arc.

This marks the third straight gold as a team for Fennelly, Diggins and Nneka Ogwumike, who were all also members of the 2008 USA U18 National Team and 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team.

“It’s just amazing,” reflected Fennelly. “Nneka and Sky have been through a lot. This is the third time I’ve had them, twice as an assistant and now as a head coach. They are great players, but they are even better people. I think they were the true leaders of our team. Everyone knew it from the beginning. They followed what we asked them to do, and their experience really paid off and showed the other kids what the international game is all about – the travel and how you just have to fight through it day-by-day. At the end of the day, they have another gold medal and they deserve it.”

Assisting Fennelly on the USA sideline were Suzie McConnell-Serio of Duquesne University and Terri Williams-Flournoy of Georgetown University.

The World University Games are a multi-sport competition organized every other year by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The USA women’s basketball team is comprised of U.S. citizens who are currently enrolled in college and have remaining eligibility.

The remainder of the field finished in the following order:

2011 WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FINAL STANDINGS
As of August 21, 2011
FINAL STANDINGS
RANK TEAM WON LOST
1 USA 6 0
2 Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) 5 1
3 Australia 5 1
4 Sweden 3 3
5 Russia 4 1
6 Canada 2 3
7 Brazil 3 3
8 Finland 2 4
9 Czech Republic 3 2
10 China 3 3
11 Lithuania 2 4
12 Japan 1 5
13 Slovak Republic 2 4
14 Great Britain 1 4
15 Poland 0 4
2011 World University Games Women’s Basketball gold medalist.

 

Source: USA Basketball Press Release

 

Originally published Sun, August 21, 2011


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.