Wednesday, November 7, 2007

USAB Update and More

It's becoming a familiar story for the U.S. Women's Senior National Team. On their current college tour, the U.S. Women have tended to start slowly and finish strong. Tuesday's 82-56 win over Baylor was a dramatic example; the U.S. led by just one at the half but outscored Baylor 48-23 in the second half to earn the easy victory.

"Baylor came out really aggressive, we didn't come out so sharp and they made us pay for that," said Head Coach Anne Donovan. "We did a good job regrouping and then coming out in the second half and really getting after it."

Diana Taurasi (21 points, 11 boards) and Lisa Leslie (10 points, 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles. Sue Bird had her high scoring game of the college tour, posting 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

"They played very well, they're a very scrappy team that forced a lot of turnovers and we didn't really come out with our best game," said Bird. "We regrouped at halftime, coach said some things and we were able to turn it around in the second half and play more our style. I think a lot of that was just being aggressive, both defensively and offensively."

Elsewhere, hat tip to posters on the message board for finding a couple of good stories.

Lauren Jackson, scheduled to fly to Russia Monday, talked to The Daily Telegraph about the experience.

When you focus on playing basketball that's great, but you still have 18 hours of the day, which makes it very difficult. And you can either become a television junkie or go shopping and spend all your money or you can study.

I got my diploma in business management (through Thomson Education Direct). I go to training for half a day, read the other half of the day and then at night someone shows up and takes me out around Moscow, so that's all good.

Also, from Israel, a report on Storm guard Tanisha Wright earning "MVP" honors for Round 4 of league play, which took place in late October. Wright had 25 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a victory by her Raanana Hertzeliya team.

Lastly, congrats to Corey Gaines, the new head coach of the Phoenix Mercury. Gaines had assisted Paul Westhead in Phoenix the last two seasons and should continue the Westhead style of play that has proven so successful for the Mercury. Phoenix players and Westhead were lobbying for Gaines to be the choice. I'll try to get Westhead's thoughts in the next couple of days.

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