Nicole Powell Just Misses Double-Double In U.S. Win Over Brazil

July 22, 2003

BOSTON, Mass. - Surviving a late scare with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the USA Pan American Games Team prevailed and captured its first exhibition win after overpowering Brazil's young women (1-4) 60-58 Sunday afternoon at Northeastern University's (Mass.) Matthews Arena to conclude a series of 'friendly' matches played in Boston.

Stanford senior forward Nicole Powell (Phoenix, AZ) had 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds (all defensive) to lead the U.S., while Jamie Carey of Texas had a team-high 12 points.

The USA Pan Am team will travel to Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, to compete in a trio of exhibition games between July 22-25 against the Cuba Pan American Games Team. After returning from the Cuban trip, the squad will continue training camp in Tampa, Florida (Berkeley Prep School), July 26-29 before departing to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the 2003 Pan American Games.

'We had a lot of easy shots that I would like to see fall and I think it's important that we start rebounding better,' said USA Pan American Games Team and University of Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan. 'I think that is something that will come, but I think we played great defense and it appears that our team is coming together. They played with a lot of heart today.'

After the first period it appeared the U.S. would waltz away with an easy victory after going on a 20-6 run in the first seven minutes of the game. And by the end of the first quarter the USA held a 22-10 lead.

Both teams struggled on the offensive end in the second half after the U.S. only completed eight shots and shot a frigid 33.3 percent (15-40 FGs) from the field and the Brazilians finished with seven field goals. However, thanks in part to Carey's perfect 2-of-2 shooting from 3-point, the U.S. held a comfortable 36-26 lead at the break.

Outscoring the USA 17-12 in the third quarter, Brazil came within two points when Erica de Souza sunk two free throws at 5:53 to make the score 38-36. Two plays later, Powell stole the ball, was fouled and connected on both free throws to up the lead to 42-36 at 4:15. Both teams swapped baskets and after the third the score stood at48-43 in favor of the United States.

The game remained a tight affair and with 1:39 remaining, the U.S. held a 57-55 lead. Flavia Dos Santos swooshed a 3-pointer to shoot the Brazilians ahead of the American 58-57. But Loree Moore (Tennessee / Harbor City, Calif.) answered with an offensive rebound and put back to give the U.S. the edge, 59-58 at 1:08. After a turnover on Dos Santos, the U.S. regained the possession in hopes of keeping the lead. With six seconds showing on the clock, Ann Strother (Connecticut / Castle Rock, Colo.) missed a jumper, and collected her rebound. The ball was passed to Carey, who was fouled with one second left on the clock. Brazil called a time out to set up a play, while Ryan devised her own strategy to ensure the win.

After making the first from the line, Carey missed the second and Brazil's de Souza grabbed the rebound, but time expired before she could get a shot off and the USA came away with the victory.

'I told the girls to go out there and set up to play the miss,' said Ryan. 'Luckily, Jamie hustled to the ball and grabbed it and we went in for the victory.'

In addition to their combined 22 points, Powell added the seven rebounds, two assists, a steal, two turnovers and a foul in 27 minutes in a starting role, while Carey passed off for five assists. She was 4-of-10 from the floor (0-2 from 3-point range) and 2-of-2 from the foul line.

De Souza paced both teams with 18 points, 17 rebounds and six blocked shots, while Dos Santos accounted for 10 points.

--- Story courtesy of USA Basketball

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