Oct. 10, 2009
Ekaterinburg, Russia -
Angel McCoughtry led the USA Women's National Team with 17 points as they opened the Ekaterinburg International Invitational Friday evening with an impressive offensive showing that saw the U.S. roll to a 100-81 victory over the Czech professional team ZVVC UKA Prague (0-1).
In addition to the Czech Republic professional team ZVVZ USK Prague, also competing in the four-team 2009 Ekaterinburg International Invitational are Euroleague professional teams MKB Euroleasing Sopron from Hungary and the host Russian team, UMMC Ekaterinburg. The U.S. continues the round-robin tournament against Euroleasing Sopron on Saturday and caps the tournament against host and 2009 EuoLeague third place finisher UMMC Ekaterinburg on Sunday.
Tied eight all with 6:08 to play in the opening quarter, the USA, behind eight points from 2008 Olympic gold medalist Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), pushed ahead 22-8 following 14-0 run.
While the U.S. enjoyed a 24-10 lead after the game's first 10 minutes, Parker injured her left shoulder in the first minute of the second quarter and left the game in pain and did not return. UKA Prague reeled off the first six points of the second quarter, but Charles countered with six consecutive points of her own to help the USA reestablish a 30-16 lead with 7:52 left before halftime.
The Czech squad battled back once more behind a 15-4 offensive onslaught that was capped by Evanthia Maltsi's 3-pointer that cut the USA advantage to 34-31 with 4:15 remaining before halftime.
USA forward Jones scored inside to turn back the rally and a Fowles' hoop closed out an 8-0 run that pushed the USA back in front 42-31. Jones scored four of the USA's last six points, but a half-court shot by UKA's Maltsi just before the halftime buzzer foud the mark and left the score 48-36 at the midway break.
McCoughtry hit the Americans first two 3-pointers and accounted for the USA's first nine points of the third quarter and when Christon followed McCoughtry's three with a 3-pointer of her own, the USA lead had expanded to 20, 64-44.
The U.S. closed out the third quarter up 75-58, then opened the final period with a 9-2 run to grab an 84-60 advantage and its lead from there never fell below 20 points.
While McCoughtry recorded her 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-2 from beyond the 3-point arc, the 2009 WNBA Rookie of the Year also added a team best nine rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. Fowles finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, Jones added 13 points, Charles was credited with 13 points and Christon finished with 10 points. Bird, while tossing in four points, led the USA offense and was credited with nine assists.
The USA owned a 49-32 advantage on the glass and snagged 20 offensive boards. The U.S. shot 50.6 percent from the field and made 4-of-9 3-pointers, while holding UKA Prague to 41.4 percent shooting and just 8-of-28 shooting from 3-point.
On Saturday, McCoughtry scored nine points behind a balanced scoring attack that saw all 12 USA players score, including a USA high 15 points from University of Connecticut senior Tina Charles. The USA Women's National Team (2-0) defeated Euroleasing Sopron (0-2) 79-65 in round-robin play at the Ekaterinburg International Invitational Saturday afternoon.
The U.S. caps the tournament Sunday against host and undefeated UMMC Ekaterinburg. UMMC Ekaterinburg, which finished third in the 2009 EuoLeague, pounded USK Prague 94-65 in Saturday's other contest to improve to 2-0. In addition to UMMC Ekaterinburg, also competing in the four-team 2009 Ekaterinburg International Invitational are EuroLeague professional teams ZVVZ USK Prague from the Czech Republic and the Hungary professional team MKB Euroleasing Sopron.
Recap provided by USA Basketball media relations staff