July 31, 2009

USA marches on to semifinals

The USA fell behind France by eight points in the first half of their quarterfinal game, then rallied to defeat them 88-75. As Nneka put it, "We tied it up and busted it out in the third and fourth quarters."

Nneka shared top scoring honors (16 points) with Skylar Diggins. She was one rebound short of another double-double.

Here is the game report, box score, quotes and photos (later today) from USA Basketball, complete statistics from FIBA and game report with photos from FIBA.

The big news of the day at the tournament was Canada's 50-49 upset of Australia. The Canadian U19 team had never advanced as far as the quarterfinals before, and Australia was undefeated and ranked #1. The USA has less than a day to prepare for this unexpected semifinal opponent, but the two teams met earlier in the second round.

The USA team took time after practice yesterday for a tour of Bangkok. Here is a photo gallery.

July 30, 2009

Jayne, Kayla and Jeanette on Wade Trophy watch list

Congratulations to Jayne, Kayla and Jeanette!

They are three of the 25 women on the State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year preseason "Wade Watch" list that was announced today by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. This is Jayne's third time on the list, Kayla's second and Jeanette's first. Read more...

July 29, 2009

USA's 3-pointers eclipse Japan

The USA U19 team was on fire from 3-point land in their game against Japan yesterday. They hit 52% of them for 57 points. That and their superior defense led to a 109-68 victory.

As usual, the USA effort was a balanced one, with everyone playing, scoring (six in double digits) and rebounding (even little Sammy Prahalis). Nneka played just 16 minutes and tallied seven points, five rebounds and two steals.

Here is the game report, box score, quotes and photos from USA Basketball and the game report, box score and photos from FIBA.

The victory takes the USA into the quarter-finals as the #3 seed with a 5-1 record. The top two teams are Australia and Spain — both undefeated. Australia is #1 because they have a greater scoring differential ( 155) than Spain (116). Although it doesn't affect the seeding, it's interesting that the USA has a greater scoring differential (167) than either of them, and no other team in the tournament is even close to those three. If you're interested in statistics, you can find more on the FIBA website in Standings and in Player Leaders.

The USA's first quarter-final game is against France (#7) on Friday at 1:15 a.m. Pacific time. If they win that game, they'll play the winner of the Australia (#1)/Canada (#6) game on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. The gold medal game is on Sunday at 4:00 a.m.

July 28, 2009

Nneka leads USA to win over Russia

Nneka posted her third double-double in five games to lead the USA past Russia 75-56 in FIBA U19 World Championship second round action.

Russia came into the game as one of the four undefeated teams in the tournament. They went on a 13-4 run to a one-point lead in the third quarter. But the USA stepped up their defense and dominated Russia 20-6 in the final quarter to seal the win.

Nneka scored eight of her game-high 12 points and grabbed seven of her game-high 13 rebounds in the fourth quarter. She also had two assists, two steals and a blocked shot in the game.

Here is the game report, box score, quotes and photos (later today) from USA Basketball and the game report, box score and photos from FIBA.

The USA (4-1) play Japan (2-3) tomorrow in their final second round game. It's the first game of the day, at 11:00 pm today Pacific Time. You can follow it live on the FIBA website.

July 27, 2009

USA clips Canada

The USA pulled away from Canada with a 15-2 run at the end of the first quarter and went on to win 64-50 today in the second round of the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship.

Nneka had 11 points and the team-high 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the tournament — and a block and three steals. She is one of five players in the tournament with two double-doubles, is third in rebounds per game (9.5), sixth in points per game (13.3) and second in 2-point field goal percentage (57.9).

Here is the game report, box score and quotes from USA Basketball and the game report, box score and photos from FIBA.

The USA will play what promises to be a tough game tomorrow against Russia, which is undefeated in the tournament. This is a head-to-head comparison of the two teams.

July 25, 2009

Jayne gears up for next season

Jack Salisbury, Stanford Daily Sports Editor, writes, "Expectations for Stanford women's basketball may be higher than ever with the team fresh off its second-straight Final Four appearance ... Jayne Appel will be one of, if not the most important, piece of the team if the Cardinal is to get back to the Final Four for a third consecutive year."

He sat down with Jayne recently for an interview that was published in the Stanford Weekly. Here is a link to the online edition. Click full screen and go to page 8 to read the interview.

USA crushes Mali

The USA defeated Mali by the greatest margin so far in the 2009 FIBA Women's U19 Championship — 100-38.

It was a very balanced attack by the USA. Five of the 11 players scored in double digits (Nneka had eight). All eleven of them had at least three rebounds (Nneka had four).

Here is the game report from FIBA with statistics and photos.

As always, here is a later, but more detailed, report from USA Basketball, with quotes from the team. There is no quote from Nneka today, but teammate Shenise Johnson said, "Overall we had a great team effort. I thought C, C’eira Ricketts, did a great job on defense. I thought Des (Destiny Williams) did a great job rebounding. Nneka (Ogwumike) always does well."

The USA's second-round schedule is:

July 24, 2009

Nneka leads USA to victory over China

Nneka's big double-double led the USA to an 88-53 victory over China in their second game of the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship.

She had game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds. She also figured out how international refs operate — she was called for just one foul in 26 minutes of play.

Here is the game report from FIBA, with statistics and photos.

Here is a more detailed game report from USA Basketball, with quotes from players. Nneka said, "We communicated, which is what I mentioned before that we needed to do. There was a lot of intensity and we didn’t let down."

The USA will play their last game of the preliminary round against Mali tomorrow at 5:45 a.m. Pacific Time. The standings in their group are: Spain 2-0, USA 1-1, China 1-1, Mali 0-2. After tomorrow's games, the top three teams will advance to the second round , which runs Monday - Wednesday next week.

July 23, 2009

Spain stops USA's winning run

The USA U19 team got a painful wakeup call from Spain, who defeated them 90-86 in the preliminary rounds of the 2009 FIBA World Championship. This was the USA U19 first defeat in eight years.

Nneka scored the team-high 16 points on 63.6% shooting and had eight rebounds. This and her teammates' efforts weren't enough to overcome the determined Spaniards, who went on a 15-1 run in the first quarter.

Here is the game report from FIBA, with statistics and photos.

Here is a more detailed game report from USA Basketball, with quotes from players. Nneka thinks that a lot of their problems today were due to poor communication. "... we're all in the same book, we're just not on the same page. That's a problem that can easily be fixed."

The USA plays its second of three preliminary round games tomorrow against China, who won their first game against Mali 86-60. If you're awake at 5:45 am tomorrow morning, you can follow the game at FIBA Live Statistics

July 22, 2009

USA U19s ready to play

The USA U19 team trained for the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship with two practices a day in Colorado Springs. Head coach Carol Owens says they're all very excited to get going. "We've practiced well, we've done all we can do in practice. Now it's time for us to play."

Asked how having players with NCAA Tournament experience will help them, she said, "I think that helps quite a bit. Especially with Nneka being one our captains. I think she’s really comfortable with what we’re trying to do."

Here's the interview with Owens from USA Basketball.

July 21, 2009

USA U19 trying for third gold

The USA U19 women's basketball team is in Bangkok trying for their third straight gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Championship.

Nneka and Skylar Diggins, both of whom were on the U18 team last summer, were voted by their teammates to serve as co-captains of the 2009 USA U19 Worlds squad.

“I feel a lot of respect to be named co-captain with Skylar,” said Nneka. “I’m not surprised Skylar was named captain, I voted for her myself. I’ve been trying my best to talk to everyone, get everyone involved and not have any people lagging. I’m going to keep on doing that and hopefully that’ll intensify our game.”

The competition begins this Thursday, July 23 with the USA playing Spain in the preliminary rounds and ends with the gold medal game on Sunday, August 2. Here is the complete schedule.

The USA team warmed up yesterday with a friendly game against France, which they won 86-64. The USA dominated in the paint, out-rebounding France 61-27. Nneka was one of three USA players who had nine rebounds. She also scored six points and had one block.

Here is the game report from USA Basketball, with a link to the box score.

July 20, 2009

2009-2010 schedule announced

Update your social calendar for another season of Awesome Stanford Women's Basketball — the 2009-2010 schedule was announced today. Tara call it "the most competitive schedule in my time here at Stanford".

Play starts with a couple of exhibition games at Maples, then the team heads east for games against Old Dominion and Rutgers. If your other commitments allow for a big away trip, this will be a good one. See the FBC Travel blog for more information.

Then the Cardinal comes home for seven games, one away (but not very far) against U.C. Davis and the rest at Maples. The opponents include four strong teams — Utah, Gonzaga, Duke and Tennessee.

Then it's back east to Storrs, CT for the first annual Stanford/UConn game just before Christmas. The bad news for Cardinal fans is that it will be tough to travel to this game unless you're going back home to the east coast for Christmas. The good news is that the game will be televised on ESPN2.

See the FBC Schedule for the complete schedule of games and FBC Events. Note that there's a link back to last season's schedule and results, which has a link to the Story of the Season posting for each game. If you don't remember how the Cardinal did against Vanguard in last season's exhibition game, you can find out here.

See also FBC Travel for tips about travelling to away games.

July 19, 2009

Mikaela making a mark in summer league

Jake Curtis was impressed with Mikaela's contributions to Bay Pride's victory in the San Francisco Pro-Am today. She scored 19 points, including 3-of-4 three-pointers. She had 17 rebounds — "balls just seem to bounce right to her." Read more...

July 12, 2009

McDonald's All-Americans face off at Kezar

Jake Curtis writes, "Three 2009 McDonald's All-Americans -- one headed to Stanford and two on their way to Cal -- matched skills in a women's San Francisco Pro-Am summer-league basketball game Saturday." Read more...

July 11, 2009

Watch the Gold Medal game

Sorry for the misinformation about this broadcast. The SportZU website now says, "USA Basketball will broadcast an encore presentation of the Women’s Basketball gold medal game Sunday, July 12 at 7:00 pm Eastern (4:00 pm PDT) with Coach Turner Thorne mic’d up and full coverage of all the action." This is the link.

USA Women win the gold

Jeanette and Kayla proudly display the gold medals they earned as the USA Women defeated Russia 83-64 today in the World University Games.

This is Kayla's third gold medal with USA Basketball, which she thinks, "... is incredible. Three in a row like this, with this team especially. We had a blast, and we worked really hard for each other. It was just great."

It's Jeanette's first one, which is, "... amazing. I've never experienced this before. I know a lot of people have on this team. I'm sure it's great for them, but for the first time, it's amazing. It's so great."

Russia had the lead (28-20) early in the second quarter, but the USA, led by Jeanette's three-pointer, dug deep and gave it everything they had and controlled the rest of the game. Tina Charles had a huge double-double, 28 points and 18 rebounds.

Both of our Cardinals had fine games. Kayla was one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Jeanette was busy, busy, busy! She had seven points, six rebounds, two steals and five assists with zero turnovers.

Here is the game report from USA Basketball, with links to the box score, quotes from Charli and all twelve players, and a photo gallery of the game and the medal ceremony.

The WUG have posted the cumulative statistics for the competition. Here is the USA's. As expected, coach Charli made good use of all the team members.

Jeanette had the most minutes per game by a small margin (22:57). She started six of the seven games, had an impressive 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio, made 42% of her field goal attempts and 100% of her free throws.

Kayla started four games, had 45 rebounds (third-best after the two bigs - Charles and Lavender), made 44% of her field goal attempts and 89% of her free throws.

July 10, 2009

USA vs Australia update

The USA Basketball has repaired their website, and it's no longer listed as suspicious. Their game report reveals that yesterday's World University Games semifinal was more exciting than the WUG box score indicated.

The USA was down by four points with 4:53 minutes left in the first quarter. They called a timeout, during which Charli said something like, "... we came out, got a little run and then we let up. As a coach I don't understand that ..." The USA resumed play with a 25-0 run to the lead that Australia found insurmountable.

If you're really eager to know the outcome of the USA vs Russia game on Saturday, get up early — the game starts at 6:00 am Pacific time — and observe the as-it-happens results on WUG's daily schedule page for basketball on Saturday.

July 09, 2009

USA women advance to gold medal game

The USA defeated Australia in their semifinal game today. The USA led by 14 points at the end of the first quarter. Australia fought hard the rest of the game — they outscored the USA 26-22 in the fourth quarter — but couldn't overcome the early deficit. The final score was 81-66

The USA dominated in the paint, as they have done throughout these games. They outrebounded Australia 45-39; Tina Charles had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Kayla had seven points and four rebounds. Jeanette had five points, three rebounds, three assists and just one turnover.

In the other semifinal today, Russia defeated the Czech Republic 107-64. The USA and Russia will play for the gold on Saturday.

Here is the box score from the World University Games.

I'm not linking to the game report from USA Basketball, because its website has apparently been hacked. Google warns that visiting the site may harm your computer. You can find more information about the problem here.

July 07, 2009

Nneka is on final USA U19 team

Featuring five athletes who helped the U.S. secure its berth to the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship, USA Basketball today announced the 12-member 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team. As the two-time defending U19 World Championship gold medalists, the USA will attempt to make it three straight golds at the ’09 U19 Worlds, scheduled for July 23-Aug. 2 in Bangkok, Thailand. Read more...

Nneka is one of the five featured athletes who helped the USA claim the gold at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship last summer. Sarah would also be in that group, but she had to withdraw from the team a month ago because she had surgery for a stress fracture in her foot.

USA women crush Czech Republic

The USA's 115-78 defeat of the Czech Republic featured five players in double figures and a 51-21 rebounding advantage.

Kayla and Jeanette both started today. Kayla just missed a double-double with nine points (including five-of-five free throws) and the game-high 11 rebounds. Jeanette scored four points, and had three assists and three steals.

The victory advances the USA into the semi-finals as the #1 seed in their group. They have a day off tomorrow, then play #2-seeded Australia on Thursday. The other pair of semifinalists are Russia and the Czech Republic.

About advancing to the semifinals, Kayla said, "I’m really excited. This was our goal. We want to get to the gold medal game and the way we played today, we’re feeling very confident right now."

Here is the game report from USA Basketball, with links to the box score and more quotes. They haven't posted photos yet, but here is the gallery from the previous game against Poland.

July 06, 2009

Joslyn has another big game at Kezar

Joslyn, shown here after winning the Montana state championship, probably wasn't that excited about leading Bay Pride to an 81-66 victory over Golden State at Kezar last Saturday.

But Cardinal fans will be excited to know how well our incoming freshmen are playing. Joslyn had 29 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Mikaela had seven points and five rebounds.

Joslyn's performance gave Jake Curtis some ideas about how she may contribute to Stanford victories soon. Here is his game report.

July 05, 2009

USA Women remain undefeated

The USA women fought off a resilient Poland and remained undefeated with a 75-67 win today. Kayla and Jeanette each contributed nine points to the victory.

Jeanette started again. Her nine points came on three-of-four three-pointers. She also had four rebounds, three assists with just two turnovers, and a steal.

In addition to her scoring, Kayla had eight rebounds and an assist.

Poland was far from being a pushover. When asked if it was good to have a close game, Kayla said, "Yes. I’d like to blow every team out, but it does wake us up. It does make us more aware that it’s not just going to be a walk in the park. I think this will push us that much harder. Hopefully we can go through all the other teams better than tonight."

Here is the game report from USA Basketball, with links to the box score and more quotes.

July 03, 2009

Third win for USA women

The USA women defeated Serbia 84-50 yesterday and are 3-0 in the preliminary round.

There was a crowd of 1200 rooting for the home team, and it was a tougher game, as expected, than the first two. But the USA women continued their strong defensive play. They out-rebounded the Serbians 44-18 and held them to 36.7 % shooting.

Kayla was a starter for the first time. She played 19 minutes, scored two points and had four rebounds.

Jeanette perhaps didn't run the point in this game. She had no assists, but attempted and made two three-pointers. She also had three rebounds and a steal.

The USA advances to the second round as the top seed in their group of four and will play Poland (2-1) on Sunday.

Here is the game report from USA Basketball, with links to the box score and quotes. Here is photo gallery.

Stanford's top two women's basketball teams...

Jake Curtis' pick for #2 (1996-97) carries painful memories for Cardinal fans. This superstar team was marching steadfastly to the national championship, until they missed three shots in the last 17 seconds of overtime in That Dreadful Game against ODU.
His pick for #1, probably no surprise to anyone, is the 1989-90 team, the first Stanford team to win the national championship.

July 02, 2009

Second win in World University Games

The 2009 USA Women's World University Games Team ran away with a 93-59 victory over Great Britain on Thursday afternoon in Belgrade, Serbia.

The USA's size advantage was apparent from the start, and they finished with a 55-30 advantage on the boards and 48 points in the paint. Jantel Lavender said, "Just from watching them yesterday, I knew that we might have an advantage because they have one big post player, and we have five completely different looks that we can throw at that post player. So we knew that we could wear them down a little bit."

Kayla scored six points and had five rebounds, an assist and two steals. Jeanette had two points, four rebounds and two assists.

Here's the game report from USA Basketball, with links to the box score, some quotes and possibly a photo gallery.

Tomorrow the USA women will play against Serbia, the fourth member of their group. They expect this to be their toughest preliminary round game. Serbia has the home team advantage, and Coach Charli says, "They're the most talented team, besides us, in our bracket."

After that the 16 participating teams will be seeded based on the results of the preliminary round. The top two teams from each group of four will advance to play for 1st to 8th place on July 5-11. Here is the schedule and results.

July 01, 2009

USA Women cruise in first game

The 2009 USA Women's World University Games Team forced 44 turnovers and shot 56.1 percent from the field to cruise to an easy 85-point, 115-30 win over France in its first contest of the 2009 World University Games this morning.

France was outsized and overmatched by the U.S. squad. The U.S. dominated the glass, grabbing 48 rebounds to France's 21. Think what might have been if Jayne was still on the team!

Kayla contributed six points, four rebounds and two steals. She was a perfect 4-of-4 on free throws.

Jeanette did not attempt any field goals, but had a game-high five assists, grabbed four steals and sank two free throws.

Here is the game report from USA Basketball. It includes links to the box score, quotes from coach Charli and a few players, and a photo gallery.