Weekend Recap

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Five of the USA's seven healthy players contributed double-digit scoring efforts as the 2011 USA Basketball Women's National Team (1-0) kicked-off its five-game exhibition schedule by dismantling last season's Italian league champion Famila Schio (0-1) 77-48 in Monte di Procida, Italy on September 30th.

Playing in her first international game, Brittney Griner (Baylor University) led all scorers with 15 points; Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) and Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun) added 12 points apiece; Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty) scored 11; while Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars) and Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars) chipped in eight and seven points, respectively. Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun) has a sore right knee, did not play and is listed as day-to-day.

"All-in-all, I didn't know what to expect in this game after just being with these guys for two days, but I'm really thrilled with the way we played," said Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. "We just beat a really, really, really good team. Probably the best team here in Italy. I'm really pleased. I really am.

"There were stretches where we worked really, really hard and we made a lot of hustle plays. Swin (Cash), especially, kept a lot of things moving for us and everybody took turns contributing. You look at the box score, it's pretty even. We didn't really rely on any one person."

The USA struck first with a Charles jumper and never trailed in the game. Owning just a two-point, 9-7, edge, Charles got a put-back at 5:31 in the first quarter, sparking a 6-0 spurt that expanded the lead to 15-7. Following a bucket by Schio's Janel McCarville, Griner outscored the Italian squad 8-3, including a pair of traditional three-point plays, and the U.S. held a 23-12 lead at the first-quarter buzzer.

USA 77, Schio 48 highlights

The following day, Swin Cash (Seattle Storm) scored a team-high 17 points to lead the 2011 USA Basketball Women's National Team (2-0) to a hard-fought 78-68 victory over Ros Casares Valencia (1-1) in Monte di Procida, Italy.

Cash, who averaged 14.5 ppg. and 7.5 rpg. in the two-night, four-team tournament, was named MVP and Brittney Griner (Baylor University) listed as the best post player after averaging 12.5 ppg. and 7.5 rpg. off the bench.

In addition to Cash's 17 points, the USA's scoring was paced by 16 from Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun). Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) just missed a double-double after posting 15 points and nine rebounds; Griner, who had three fouls on the books in the first half, finished with 10 points and eight rebounds; Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), who was also hampered by three first-half fouls, and Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars) chipped in eight points apiece, while Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars) scored four.

"This was a completely different game than last night in the sense that this is one of the top teams in Europe," said Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. "They're well-drilled. Their coach is excellent. They shot the ball incredibly well in that whole first half. We had some foul problems, but I thought our guys did a great job of attacking them and getting them into foul trouble.

"Swin throughout these past two games has been exactly what Swin's always been. She's a high-energy player who's around the ball all the time and makes big plays. She had a couple offensive rebounds and put-backs that I thought were exactly what we needed when we needed them. She is a leader out there for them."

Featuring a roster filled with some of the top talent in Europe, including several Olympians and FIBA World Championship participants, Ros Casares was a tough opponent from the start and took an early 7-4 lead four minutes into the game. Cash tied the score at 7-7 after making one of two from the line at 5:13 and Charles followed with a bucket at 4:41 to give the U.S. a lead it would never relinquish.

USA 78, Ros Casares 68