Wiggins Scores 11 Points as USA U19 Team Pounds Russia, 98-65

July 15, 2005

TUNIS, TUNISIA (July 15, 2005) - Behind its dominating post play, the USA's (1-0) pursuit of the FIBA Women's U19 World Championship gold medal got off to a successful start Friday as the U.S. women defeated Russia (0-1) 98-65 in the first of its five preliminary round games in Tunis, Tunisia. The 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship is being held July 15-24 in Tunisia and the U.S. will continue preliminary round action Saturday facing Congo.

A combination of four USA post players dominated the paint and combined to score 55 of the team's 98 points. Nikki Anosike (Tennessee/Staten Island, N.Y.) and Crystal Langhorne (Maryland/Willingboro, N.J.) each tallied 16 points, while Erlana Larkins (North Carolina/Riviera Beach, Fla) scored 14 points and Courtney Paris (Piedmont H.S./Piedmont, Calif.) added nine points. Pac-10 Player of the Year Candice Wiggins of Stanford University (San Diego, Calif.) added 11 points as a starter for USA. She connected on 3 of 5 three-point field goals and added three assists and one steal in 22 minutes of play.

'I was really proud of our defensive effort as a team. Everybody came in an contributed and we really set the tone with our defense,' said USA head coach Gail Goestenkors. 'After our final exhibition game against Hungary (a 75-67 loss) we were very disappointed we did not dictate the tempo. We were (in the Hungary exhibition) very passive on the defensive end so we've been working on becoming much more physical, much more aggressive on the defensive end and I think it really showed today that our hard work paid off.

'Our guards did a tremendous job of getting the ball inside to our posts and we have such a great group of posts. Most teams have one or two good posts, but we feel that we have five great post players who work together and who are difficult to stop,' Goestenkors added.

Getting four early points from Larkins, the U.S. jumped ahead 8-2. Leading 8-5, the U.S. took over the game with a 16-2 spurt that left the Americans in front 24-7. Anosike midway through the run poured in seven consecutive points as the U.S. continued to get the ball down low.

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