USA Women dominant in prelim round

KAZAN, Russia -- KAZAN, Russia -- The 2013 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team (3-0) completed preliminary round play with a perfect record and will advance to the quarterfinals as the top seed from Group B after dispatching Brazil (1-2) 105-75 on Wednesday at Miras Sports.

Next up for the USA will be a quarterfinal match-up at 2:30 a.m. ET (10:30 a.m. Kazan time) on Friday, July 12, where the team will face the No. 2 seed from Group A, which will be the loser of Wednesday’s meeting between Russia (2-0) and Sweden (2-0).

Tennessee point guard Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) came off the bench to register a team-high-tying 21 minutes of action in the triumph. The 5-foot-6 Lady Vol standout contributed two points, an assist and a steal for her squad while missing on her only attempt from the field and going two of four from the charity stripe.

In three games this week, Massengale is averaging 18.0 minutes, 4.3 points, two assists and 1.7 steals per contest while committing only two turnovers in those contests. She is shooting .500 percent from the field (3-6), .333 percent from three-point range (1-3) and .750 (6-8) from the free throw line.

Aaryn Ellenberg (University of Oklahoma/Las Vegas, Nev.) shot 5-of-9 from 3-point range and scored all of her game-high 19 points in the first half, including 14 in the first quarter to lead the U.S. attack vs. Brazil. Ellenberg’s five 3-point makes tied Suzie McConnell (1991 versus Ireland) for the most 3-pointers made by a U.S. player at the World University Games. Also etching her name into the record book, Odyssey Sims (Baylor University/Irving, Texas) tied the USA World University Games individual game high with 10 assists, matching the mark previously recorded by Kamie Ethridge in 1985 against Canada.

“We had a great start and a big first quarter,” said USA head coach Sherri Coale (University of Oklahoma). “Every time that we shared the ball, went inside-outside or changed sides of the floor, we got great shots and made most of them. I think the take-away for the team is to understand how shooting percentage is so positively affected by the number of passes you make in a possession.”

The USA scored the first 10 points of the game against Brazil, much like they scored the first eight points against Czech Republic on Tuesday night, and the catalyst, once again, was Ellenberg, who scored 14 first-quarter points after scoring 10 in the opening period against Czech Republic. Ellenberg hit four 3-pointers before checking out for the remainder of the quarter with 3:53 left and the USA ahead, 22-5. The U.S. advantage would build to 36-16 at the end of the first quarter.

The USA built its lead to 56-32 at the halftime break and continued to stretch the margin in the third period. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (University of Connecticut/Anaheim Hills, Calif.) made a 3-pointer assisted by Sims with 4:22 left in the third quarter to put the USA ahead, 75-39, and allow Sims to tie the U.S. World University Games single-game assist record. The USA led 82-51 entering the final quarter.

A jump shot in the paint by Liston with 7:55 left in the fourth quarter gave the USA its largest lead of the game at 37 points (89-52), an amount the USA would reach three more times in the game before ultimately arriving at the final score of 105-75.

Crystal Bradford (Central Michigan University/Detroit, Mich.) scored 12 points, while Jordan Hooper (University of Nebraska/Alliance, Neb.) and Mosqueda-Lewis each added 11 points and ReShanda Gray (University of California/Los Angeles, Calif.) contributed 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting to give the USA five scorers in double-digits. Theresa Plaisance (Louisiana State University/New Orleans, La.) led the USA with seven rebounds.

The USA shot 48.8 percent from the field (41-84 FGs) with 24 of the field goals being assisted. Brazil shot 46.9 percent from the field (30-64 FGs) but turned the ball over 23 times which led to 36 U.S. points coming off turnovers. Mosqueda-Lewis and Sims each had three steals to lead the USA.

“I expect to see a little bit more of an edge,” said Coale on what she expects to be different in the quarterfinal round. “I sure hope our team has a little bit more of an edge, but I expect the opponents will. I expect there will be a few more people in the arena, and it will have a little bit more of a heartbeat to it than today's game did.”

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