USA Basketball Women's National Team Breezes By Brazil, 99-67
- Lindsay Whalen Named Tiffany Player of the Game With 21 Points, Five Assists -
Washington, D.C. • July 16, 2012
The 2012 USA Basketball Women’s National Team (2-0) led from start to finish in its 99-67 exhibition win over Brazil on Monday evening at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The exhibition contest was the first for the USA since it gathered in the nation’s capitol for training camp on July 14.
Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx), who tallied 21 points and dished out five assists, was honored as the Tiffany Player of the Game; while four other players also reached double-digit scoring. Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) tallied 16 points and seven assists, Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) scored 12 points, Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds and Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) finished with 11 points and six boards.
“I wanted to make sure we came out, got good looks and shared the ball, moved the ball,” said Whalen. “I think it was a good start for us; we got up, pressured the ball, made sure things happened. I think that was the biggest thing coming in, and making sure we got good looks.”
The USA trailed 4-2 in the first 1:30 of the game, but two points from Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) ignited a 13-0 U.S. spurt that included two 3-pointers from Augustus. Meanwhile, Brazil was ice-cold from the field, shooting 0-for-5 to start the game and just 31.9 percent overall (23-72 FGs). By the time the first quarter buzzer sounded, the USA had built a 27-14 advantage.
Eight of the USA’s 25 forced turnovers came in the first quarter, thanks in part to a full-court press, and the North Americans tallied 27 assists on their 35 made field goals.
“There were moments where we looked really, really good, and there were moments where we really struggled at both ends of the floor,” said USA head coach Geno Auriemma. “Little by little, we'll get to where we need to be, but they're a great group, and we're going to be okay.”
Brazil competed throughout the game, but the USA had too much talent and depth, and never let up. By halftime, the lead had stretched to 20 points, 51-31.
Two 3-pointers from Taurasi in the third quarter, as well as seven points in the period from Moore, helped the USA take a 24-point lead, 72-48, into the final stanza.
The largest advantage of the night, however, came with just 1:10 remaining in the game when Moore sank a 3-pointer to put the USA ahead 97-64.
Brazil was led by 21 points from former WNBA player and international veteran Iziane Castro Marques and 19 points from Karla Costa. Clarissa Dos Santos was the game’s top rebounder with 15 boards.
The USA women continue their preparations in Manchester, England and on July 18 (7:10 p.m. local time, Manchester is +5 hours from EDT) will play Great Britain at the Manchester Arena. The USA men will square off against Great Britain on July 19 at (7:10 p.m. local time). Tickets for both the USA men’s and women’s national team games against Great Britain are available by calling +44 (0) 844 847 8000 or at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
From there, the USA women travel to Istanbul, Turkey, where the team will face Croatia on July 21 (times TBD) before wrapping up its exhibition schedule against Turkey on July 22.
Auriemma is assisted by DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, Jennifer Gillom of the Washington Mystics and Marynell Meadors of the Atlanta Dream.