July 22, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The USA Basketball Women’s Basketball National Team played its final two exhibition tune-ups over the weekend, defeating Croatia, 109-55 on Saturday and Turkey, 80-61, on Sunday. Both games took place in Istanbul, Turkey and Team USA will begin Olympic Pool play on July 28 in London.
Tina Charles was one of four Americans to score in double-figures against Croatia and Sue Bird scored eight points and dished-out five assists without committing a single turnover.
The contest against Turkey, which won the silver medal at the 2011 FIBA European World Championship, was much closer and Team USA led by only seven points at the end of the third quarter. The US eventually pulled away thanks in large part of 14 points from Diana Taurasi.
"We had to make plays. We had to get stops, and they are a really, really good team," said Geno Auriemma. "Turkey has a lot of weapons, they have a lot of ways they can beat you and they are really smart. We gave them a lot of life. We missed a lot of opportunities that would have made it much easier for us, but maybe in the long run that's better too. It's easy to win when you shoot (70.8) percent like we did last night. It's another thing when you shoot 35.0 percent in the first half and are able to beat a really good team by 19. So yeah, it showed some of our flaws and our warts, like everybody else has, and we've got four more practices to fix it and then we are on the big stage."
Team USA finished the exhibition portion of its schedule with a spotless 5-0 record. Maya Moore was second on the team in scoring at 10.8 points per game while Taurasi averaged 10.3 points per game over those five victories.
(Information courtesy of USA Basketball. Check USABasketball.com for full coverage of Team USA)