European Tour Wrapup
Check out a recap of the first two games.
Catch up with Asjha Jones
Watch an interview with Tina Charles
Despite receiving 22 points from Brittney Griner (Baylor University), the 2011 USA Basketball Women's National Team (2-1) fell behind by as many as 15 points in the second half and was unable to bridge the gap before time expired, falling to host Ros Casares Valencia 80-76 on October 5th at the Fuente San Luis Municipal Arena in Valencia, Spain.
Griner, who scored 16 of her points in the second half, also contributed eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun) and Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars) scored 12 points apiece, while Swin Cash (Seattle Storm) added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty) dished out six assists.
Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) fouled out of the game with seven points and five boards in 21 minutes. Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), who missed the USA's first two exhibition games in Europe due to a sore right knee, was also in foul trouble much of the game and had four points and four boards in 10 minutes.
Three days later, turnovers plagued the 2011 USA Basketball Women's National Team (2-2), which was outscored 19-8 and gave up the ball nine times in the third quarter, in a 83-77 loss to 2011 Czech League champion USK Prague in Prague.
Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) led all scorers with 28 points, Swin Cash (Seattle Storm) scored 13, Brittney Griner (Baylor University) added 11 and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty) chipped in 10 points.
On October 9, a pair of Olympic gold medalists, Swin Cash (Seattle Storm) and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), scored 14 points apiece to lead the 2011 USA Basketball Women's National Team (3-2) to a 73-63 victory over UNIQA-Euroleasing Sopron in Sopron, Hungary, to wrap up its European Tour.
All seven American women scored in a key third-quarter surge that saw the USA, which went into the locker room tied 41-41, outpace the hosts 21-9 and take a 62-50 lead heading into the final stanza.
"It was the complete opposite of the way we started (the second half) the other night," said Geno Auriemma , 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. "There was a much better focus on the defensive end to kind of limit what the other team was doing. Because the defensive stops were there, we were then able to convert that into good offense. I think we took them out of their rhythm. They had a really nice flow offensively in the first half. And then, some defensive things that we did really caused them some problems. We had great ball movement in the third quarter and got open shots. It sounds so simple, but that's basically what it was."
Also aiding in the effort were Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) and Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars) with 12 points each, while Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun) scored nine and the U.S. received six points apiece from Brittney Griner (Baylor University) and Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun).