USA U19 Team Rallies to 5-0 With 74-66 Win over Spain in First Round

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Monica Wright had nine points in the win over Spain. (photo by USA Basketball)
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Monica Wright had nine points in the win over Spain. (photo by USA Basketball)
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Aug. 1, 2007

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - Virginia's Monica Wright (Woodbridge, Va.) helped the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team to a 74-66 win over Spain at the 2007 World Championships in Slovakia on Tuesday night.

The rising sophomore finished with nine points and seven assists in 35 minutes of action.

The USA will close second-round action against the first place squad from Group A, Slovakia (5-0), at Noon (EDT) on Aug. 1.

Monica Wright Quotes
On tonight's game:
"Spain came out totally ready to play. They are a great basketball team and I respect them fully."

"I'm just trying to stay focused and disciplined for the team. It's always a team effort, and we're starting to figure out how much stronger we are when we all come together instead of trying to do our own thing."

"I felt like every time I penetrated, she was wide open. Nobody could stop her tonight. I felt way more confident tonight because I knew even if I didn't have the open look, I could find a post player or kick it back to a guard for a good look."

"I felt like we grew a lot with playing China, but we didn't really have the chance to see that until we had a tough game like tonight."

July 31
USA 74, Spain 66

The 2007 USA Women's U19 World Championship Team (5-0) needed all four quarters and 28 points from Jantel Lavender (Cleveland Central Catholic H.S. / Cleveland, Ohio) to secure a late 74-66 win over Spain (3-2) Tuesday night in second-round action of the 2007 U19 World Championship For Women in Bratislava, Slovakia.

"We were lucky tonight because we put ourselves in a position through unintelligent play to lose, yet we gutted out a win when it came down to crunch time," said USA U19 and DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno. "When we needed to make plays we did. When I say unintelligent play, I'm not talking about unintelligent players. I'm talking about having nine players who will be college freshmen in the fall. We really don't have an understanding yet of how to differentiate between our open court game and our halfcourt game. That's our big challenge."

Headed into the fourth quarter, the scoreboard read an even 52-52. The USA had outscored Spain 23-20 in first period, Spain outscored the USA 17-14 in the second period and both teams tallied 15 points in the third.

But just 15 seconds into the fourth quarter, a 3-pointer from Spain's Jael Freixanet sparked a 7-4 Spain run that left the score 59-56 in Spain's advantage with 8:23 on the clock. Over the next four minutes, however, Spain scored just two points while the USA tallied seven, including two points from Vicki Baugh (Sacramento H.S. / Sacramento, Calif.) and Lavender, and a deep three from Jasmine Thomas (Oakton H.S. / Fairfax, Va.), to recapture a 63-61 lead with 4:21 remaining.

Spain attempted to stop the onslaught with a timeout at 3:41, but behind five more points from Lavender, the USA outscored Spain 11-5 to finish the game and secure a 74-66 win.

In addition to Lavender, who recorded a double-double with 13 rebounds, the USA was led by 19 points and five rebounds from Moore; nine points, seven assists and five steals from Monica Wright (Virginia / Woodbridge, Va.); eight points and four rebounds from Baugh; six points and five assists from Jasmine Thomas; and six rebounds and blocked four shots from Allyssa DeHaan (Michigan State / Grandville, Mich.).

Spain's Alba Torrens led her team with 18 points, followed by Anna Carbo with 17, including 7-of-7 from the free throw line, and 12 points from Tamara Abalde.

The USA will close second-round action against the first place squad from Group A, Slovakia (5-0), at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 1.

The 2007 U19 World Championship quarterfinals are slated for Aug. 3, semifinals will be held Aug. 4 and the gold medal gme will be contested Aug. 5.

In today's earlier action, Japan (2-3) secured 13th place with a 74-72 win over Argentina (1-4), who finished 14th; and Mali (1-4) topped Ivory Coast (0-5) 63-32 to claim 15th place finish, with the Ivory Coast placing 16th in the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship For Women.

For complete USA Basketball release, visit: www.USABasketball.com.