Gray-Lawson scores 14 points in World University Games opener

July 1, 2009


The 2009 USA Women's World University Games Team (1-0) forced 44 turnovers and shot 56.1 percent from the field (37-66 FGs) to cruise to an easy 85-point, 115-30 win over France (0-1) in its first contest of the 2009 World University Games on Wednesday morning in Belgrade, Serbia.

Tina Charles (Connecticut / Jamaica, N.Y.) led five U.S. players in double figures with 18 points, including 4-of-4 from the free throw line, and six rebounds. Jantel Lavender (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio) tallied a double-double with 16 points and 12 boards, Jacinta Monroe (Florida State / Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) added 16 points, three rebounds and three steals, Tiffany Hayes (Connecticut / Lakeland, Fla.) tallied 15 points and five steals and Alexis Gray-Lawson (California / Oakland, Calif.) contributed 14 points, including 6-of-6 from the free throw line, along with three rebounds and three assists.

With the score tied at 2-2 just two minutes into the first period, a bucket in the paint from Lavender sparked a 19-0 U.S. run that included eight points from Gray-Lawson and three U.S. 3-pointers, and by the 3:40 mark, the USA held a 21-2 advantage. In the first 10 minutes alone, France had coughed up 14 turnovers and was just 3-of-8 from the field.

The next three periods were more of the same as France was outsized and overmatched by the U.S. squad. Overall, the U.S. dominated the glass, grabbing 48 rebounds to France's 21, racked up 31 points from turnovers, tallied 24 second chance points and scored 56 points in the paint.

The U.S. defense held its opponent to just 27.1 shooting from the field (13-48 FGs) and sent France to the line for a total of six free throw attempts.

'We come from top programs and, obviously, we all know how to stay focused during games like this,' Gray-Lawson said. 'We just tried to stay focused, play our game and work on things that we need to work on to get better.'

Team USA will take on Great Britain on Thursday, July 2 and then host team Serbia on Friday, July 3 to wrap up their three first-round contests. Following preliminary round pool play, teams will be seeded for second round games based on their pool standings. The top two finishing teams from each pool advance to play for 1st - 8th place. The third and fourth place teams will compete in the classification for 9th -16th place.

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