In its first exhibition game in preparation for the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team prevailed over the USA Select Team by a final score of 88-84 from the Galen Center on the University of Southern California’s campus.
The Select Team was chosen to give head coach Geno Auriemma a glimpse of what future Team USA squads could look like. If last night’s game was any indication, the big team will be in good hands as they are now.
Scoringwise, both Maya Moore and Elena Delle Donne had 11 points each for Team USA, leading the way. Seimone Augustus grabbed six rebounds and Diana Taurasi pitched in with five assists.
The Select Team did not make things easy for Team USA. Natasha Howard finished with 24 points, Jewell Loyd had 20, and Odyssey Sims ended up with 17 points. The Select Team had a 22-17 lead after one quarter including scoring the game’s first six points. Team USA pulled to within two before Sugar Rodgers’ first three of the game gave the Select Team the five-point advantage.
That lead grew to 27-17 before a 13-2 run propelled Team USA to a 30-29 advantage. It would be 43-40 in favor of Team USA at the half.
It would be an advantage that grew out to 12 at the end of the 3rd quarter as Team USA assumed a lead of 67-55.
The Select Team did not go away quietly as what was a 12-point lead for Team USA totally evaporated as Howard scored 18 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter, allowing the Select Team to take an 84-82 lead with 1:13 left to play. Moore was fouled twice, both by Sims, and she made all four of her shots from the charity stripe, sealing the 88-84 win for Team USA.
The National Team’s next game will be Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. vs. France at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware—Elena Delle Donne’s alma mater. NBA TV will air the game and it can also be seen via live stream on the USA Basketball Facebook page.