Dream Olympians Excel Again Wednesday

ATLANTA, Aug. 1, 2012 Ė Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream scored a game-high 18 points as the United States Olympic Team took one more step towards qualifying for the medal round with a convincing win over Turkey Wednesday, while Dream teammate Erika de Souza totaled 11 points during Brazilís loss to Australia earlier in the day.

McCoughtry and assistant coach Marynell Meadors helped the United States improve to 3-0 in Group A with an 89-58 victory over Turkey. McCoughtry came off the bench to tally her 18 points in just 16 minutes, and shared the team lead with seven rebounds, including six on the offensive end. She made four of her six field goal attempts, and hit 10-of-11 from the free throw line, while also adding two steals, two blocks and an assist.

Through three games, McCoughtry now leads the U.S. team in scoring (13.7 ppg) and steals (2.3) while also adding 4.7 rebounds per game for Team USA, which joins China as the only team in Group A to remain undefeated with two games remaining in pool play.

Meanwhile, Brazil dropped its third straight game with a 67-61 loss to Australia, effectively eliminating Brazil from medal round contention. For the third consecutive game de Souza scored in double figures, totaling 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 1-of-3 from the free throw line. She grabbed just two rebounds Wednesday after collecting 18 on Monday, but also had three assists, a steal and a block despite spending much of the game in foul trouble.

Both teams will be back in action Friday, with Brazil playing Canada (1-2) at 9:30 a.m. ET before the U.S. plays the Czech Republic (1-2) at 5:15 p.m. ET.

Angel McCoughtry Quotes (courtesy of USA Basketball)
On tonightís game having a lot of ups and downs:
I wouldnít say ups and downs; you just put different combinations on the floor, different feels of the games, different vibes thatís all. The game is a tempo type of game, so you have runs and sometimes the other team has runs. They came out in the second half and had a good run. In the beginning they came back a little bit. I just think we needed to maintain and adjust in the second half.

Do you worry when they get close?
Yeah, you get worried because you donít want the team to come back, but you know you have to do what you to got to do to get the lead back. We are all professionals; we know how to do what we need to do so you get a little worried but it comes on defense. We know if we get stops on defense we will get the score back up.

What happened in the third quarter when they made their run?
They came out a little more aggressive and starting making some shots. We had to get back in the flow.

On bringing a spark off the bench:
Honestly, thatís a part of my role; the whole second group brought the energy coming in. Thatís what makes our team so special; when he (Coach Auriemma) subs, we donít lose anything.

On improvements being made after each game:
We are getting better and better each game. We donít have a lot of time together because we all play WNBA. Weíve only been together a month so to see the improvement weíve made in less than a month. Each practice, weíre only getting better.