U.S. Women Outlast China For Tournament Championship (8/16/01)

Aug. 16, 2001

^ USA Outlasts China 92-89 For Tournament Championship ^

ZHANGJIAGANG, China (August 16, 2001) ^ Behind 22 points from Tennessee'sKara Lawson and 19 points and 17 rebounds from Louisiana Tech's Ayana Walker,the USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team defeated China 92-89to finish 3-0 and win the Dong Du Cup title Thursday night in Zhangjiagang, China.

Stanford's Lindsey Yamasaki and Cori Enghusen and Oregon's Shaquala Williams are all members of the 12-player squad.

'I couldn't be more proud of this team,' said USA team captain Lawson. 'Itwas a tough environment to play in and China is a great team that didn'tgive up. I think we showed a lot of guts which is encouraging going intothe (World University) Games next week. We're learning each other'stendencies and we're really becoming a cohesive unit. We're havingdifferent people step up. In the first game it was Shereka (Wright), nextgame it was Lindsey (Yamasaki) and Ayana stepped up big for us tonight.We're a team that has any number of people who can play big for us.'

'I had a bad game when we played Canada,' said Walker. 'So I wanted toshow up for my team tonight and contribute what I could. These games gaveus a good look at how we work as a team. We probably can go to Beijing andwin the gold. It's just a matter of hustling and working together.'

The USA got off to a quick start with five points from Jenny Roulier(Colorado) in the game's first 39 seconds. The game wasfast paced as the team's traded baskets throughout the beginning of thefirst quarter and at the 6:54 mark, the Americans led by one, 12-11. TheUSA squad went on a 12-2 run over the next 1:37 to go up 24-13 midwaythough the first quarter. The USA held onto the lead until the end of thesecond quarter when China scored with one second to go to tie the game at58-58 at halftime.

Walker stepped up in the third quarter, scoring nine points, however Chinacontinued to match the Americans' baskets. At the end of the third periodthe USA held only a 78-76 lead over China. In the fourth quarter, Lawsonsank two 3-pointers while Roulier, who finished with 15 points, hit ajumper to put the U.S. up 92-83 with 5:08 to play. China hit threeconsecutive jumpers to close within three points, 92-89, with 1:58 on theclock, however the U.S. defense shut down China to post the win.

'Tonight's win was a really great effort on our part,' said USA BasketballWomen's World University Games and University of Virginia head coach DebbieRyan. 'I thought we did a great job at the end of the game managing theclock after we had the lead and then just making a couple of really bigstops were the difference in the game.

'Kara and Ayana were just awesome tonight,' added Ryan. 'Ayana wasunbelievable on the boards. Every big board we had to have, we got and shewas there to get it. Kara did a great job of running the club and came upwith some clutch shots for us. This tournament gives us some confidenceand a feeling of togetherness. We always knew we had good chemistry, but Ithink that chemistry pulled us through tonight. We're not a team ofsuperstars. We're a team that just really plays well together.'

Ryan is assisted by University of Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder and EastCarolina University (N.C.) head coach Dee Stokes.

The USA travels to Beijing Friday and will continue to train Aug. 18-21 forthe World University Games which sees the women's basketball competitionget underway on Aug. 22.

The 2001 World University Games is expected to feature 19 teams that havebeen divided into four preliminary round pools. The United States is inPool B with Canada, Japan and South Africa. The U.S. squad openscompetition on Aug. 22 facing South Africa at 11:00 a.m., then meets Canadaon Aug. 23 at 8:30 a.m., and concludes preliminary play against Japan onAug. 25 at 7:00 p.m. Tournament quarterfinals play gets underway Aug. 27,with semifinals being conducted Aug. 30 and the medal games being held Aug.31. All times are local Beijing, China time which is 12 hours ahead of EDT.

The World University Games, held every two years and organized by theInternational University Sports Federation (FISU), is a multi-sportcompetition open to men and women between the ages of 17 and 28 (bornbetween Jan. 1, 1973 and Dec. 31, 1983) and who are, or have been withinthe past year, a student at a college or university. The USA Women haveenjoyed outstanding success in the World University Games and have earned11 medals in 12 appearances, including four golds, six silvers and onebronze medal, and have compiled an overall record of 68-14 (82.9 winningpercentage) since beginning World University Games play in 1973. In thelast competition, which was held in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the U.S.finished with a 4-2 record and the silver medal. The USA Women last earnedthe World University Games gold in Sicily in 1997.

2001 Dong Du Cup Results

W LUSA 3 0China 2 1Australia 1 2Canada 0 3

Tuesday, August 14USA 76, Australia 53China 92, Canada 70

Wednesday, August 15USA 89, Canada 41China 94, Australia 41

Thursday, August 16Australia 66, Canada 55USA 92, China 89

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