Team USA routs China in exhibition at Key Arena

Photo Credit: Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times

Candace Parker controversy or no Candace Parker controversy, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team still manages to do what it does best – make opponents look like they do not belong on the same court or the same town as the Stars and Stripes.

This was once again the case on Thursday night at KeyArena when Team USA, in its first exhibition under new head coach Dawn Staley, blew out the visiting Chinese team by a final of 83-46.
In spite of a slow start, things gradually shifted in Team USA’s favor and it became a display of vintage USA basketball.

We got off to a fast start, slowed down a bit in the second quarter and then we picked it back up.

–USA Basketball head coach Dawn Staley

That’s a true mark of what USA Basketball is all about, being able to insert a lot of talent into the game.

Leading the way was reigning WNBA and WNBA Finals MVP Sylvia Fowles who picked up right where she left off at the conclusion of last season. It was a 16-point outing for Sweet Syl along with 14 each via Diana Taurasi and Breanna Stewart, playing on her home W floor in the Emerald City.

Also playing in front of her home fans was Sue Bird, who dished out a quintet of assists.

The Stars and Stripes did get out to a fast start with a 17-4 run to open the game, but China was not going away and managed to tie up the game at 25 apiece prior to halftime.

This is a brand new thing and basketball’s a team sport.

–Sue Bird

Yeah we had some tough stretches, it’s going to happen. But as the game went, people started to settle down a little bit. They’re going to have some jitters. Once that all cleared, everybody started to figure out their places and where they’re kind of going to fit in.

What followed was a 25-0 Team USA run that spanned two periods into the third quarter.

Next up for Team USA is when they will prepare for the FIBA World Cup later on this Fall. Performances such as that against China should once again tab Team USA as the odds on favorites.

By: Akiem Bailum (@AkiemBailum on Twitter, Instagram)

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