Last Friday when Team USA took on defending FIBA world champion Australia, they administered an 89-56 beatdown in Hartford.
This time Team USA was on the other side of the Pond in Salamanca, Spain facing an Opals team with Penny Taylor in the lineup. We also didn't have Maya Moore playing due to FIBA regulations that only allow 12 active players on a team and right now the USA roster stands at 14.
Based on today's results, if I were coach Geno, I'd put Maya Moore back on the active squad.
If Team USA was going to play a bad game, glad they got it out of their system now in exhibition play. They shot 48.4% (30-62) for the game but an abysmal 1-11 from 3 point range, turned the ball over 22 times, and got outrebounded by the Opals 43-38 (20 of them were offensive rebounds) as they dropped their opener in the Spain International Tournament 83-77.
Tina Charles led the Team USA scoring with 18 points and seven rebounds, and Lindsay Whalen contributed 13 points on 6-7 shooting. Diana Taurasi had 13 points and Tamika Catchings scored 12 for Team USA.
The Opals were paced by Jenna O’Hea's game high 24 points. Penny Taylor tossed in 18 with Liz Cambage chipping in 17 points. Hollie Grima grabbed a game high 13 rebounds to go with her five points.
The Aussies only shot 38.0% from the field, but lit it up at a 50% clip from three point range on 8-16 shooting. In addition the Opals were 21-25 from the free throw line for the game.
“I thought our defense was nowhere near as good as it was when we played (Australia) in Hartford,” said USA head coach Geno Auriemma. “I thought our energy level was way below where it needed to be, and I was really disappointed in our rebounding and how many times we would get a stop and they were able to continue the possession by getting an offensive rebound.
They are an excellent free-throw shooting team, and we put them on the free-throw line. So, we gave up threes, we put them on the free-throw line and we gave them second shots. Anytime you do that against a team, especially a good team, you’re not going to win the game.”
Well ladies, shake it off, because help is on the way. Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Angel McCoughtry are winging their way across The Pond to you. You have a practice and tomorrow's consolation game against the Spain-Senegal loser and a September 20 game against the Czech Republic to fix whatever is broken.