Team USA glided to an impressive victory over Canada on the final day of the U.S. Women’s International Friendly, 86-44, and keeps an unblemished 5-0 record moving into the final game against Brazil this evening at the Olympic Training Center at 5 p.m. The U.S. squad has outscored its five opponents, 386-239.
The United States played with a very stingy defense to control the tempo during the four quarters that saw U.S. score 25 points from turnovers, and take advantage of the glass by out rebounding Canada, 30-21 as a team. The U.S. team, with a mix of veteran Paralympians and several newcomers tabulated 11 steals in 40 minutes of action. The defensive prowess turned into a offensive weapon for Team USA as five members reached double digits in scoring.
Leading the way again were two-time Games hopeful Rose Hollermann of Eysian, Minnesota, with 20 points and six rebounds. Three-time Paralympic hopeful Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin, contributed 19 points, four rebounds and three steals in the morning session.
The duo of Desi Miller of Monroe, Washington, and Natalie Schneider of Crete, Nebraska, put up a collective 26 points, and found a rhythm in the fourth where they juked and pulled defenders off another to score 16 of Team USA’s 26 points in the fourth. Schneider, who finished with 12 points, scored 10, while Miller put back 6 of her 14 points in the fourth. U.S. co-captain Gail Gaeng of Fredrick, Maryland, found the basket for 11 points and three rebounds.
China and Brazil closed out the morning session by defeating Brazil, 54-33. China took control early in the game and never looked back as they had a commanding 31-8 lead after the first half. Jimeng Dai scored 15 points for China, and Brazil’s Lia Soares was the top scorer with 23 points.
The evening session will feature the United States and Brazil in the 5 p.m. game, with Canada and China tipping off at 7 p.m. Fans are invited to attend the games, and must enter the Olympic Training Center through the Boulder Street entrance. All games are free to the public.
Up next for the U.S. Women will be another International Friendly at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, June 22-26. Team USA will close out its international schedule at the Women’s World Super Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, July 13-18. The 12 women will have one more training camp in Colorado Springs prior to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, scheduled for Sept. 7-18.
The U.S. women’s team qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games by winning the 2015 Parapan American Games. The U.S. women dominated the Parapan Am competition by outscoring their opponents by 55 points per game and avenged their 2014 World Championships fourth-place finish by defeating Canada for the gold medal in Toronto, Canada.
The U.S. Women’s Head Coach is Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois, who won two Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008, and will be assisted by NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, and Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, with Kearstin Gehlhausen of Whitewater, Wisconsin, serving as the team leader, and Karla Wessels of Lexington, Ky., is the athletic trainer.
The U.S. Women’s team finished fourth at the 2012 London Paralympics, after claiming the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.
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2016 U.S. Women’s International Friendly
Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado
June 5-7, 2016
1. United States, 5-0
2. Canada, 3-2
3. China, 2-3
4. Brazil, 0-5
Sunday, April 5:
Game #1 – USA def. China, 73-50
Game #2 – Canada def. Brazil, 58-44
Game #3 – USA def. Canada, 70-66
Game #4 – China def. Brazil, 54-35
Monday, April 6:
Game #5: Canada def. China, 62-57
Game #6: USA def. Brazil, 84-34
Game #7: USA def. China, 70-45
Game #8: Canada def. Brazil, 53-48
Tuesday, June 7 (All times MDST)
Game #9: USA def. Canada, 86-44
Game #10: China def. Brazil, 54-33
Game #11: USA vs. Brazil at 5 p.m.
Game #12: China vs. Canada at 7 p.m.
U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Roster
No. Name Residence Hometown Birthdate
4 Megan Blunk Urbana, Ill. Gig Harbor, Wash. 09/12/1989
23 Abby Dunkin Arlington, Texas New Braunfels, Texas 11/24/1995
11 Vanessa Erskine Zwickau, Germany Kearney, Mo. 07/12/1994
2 Gail Gaeng Champaign, Ill. Frederick, Md. 12/27/1992
15 Rose Hollermann Arlington, Texas Elysian, Minn. 12/25/1995
5 Darlene Hunter Arlington, Texas Commerce Township, Mich. 04/16/1982
9 Desiree Miller Whitewater, Wis. Monroe, Wash. 08/12/1987
12 Becca Murray Germantown, Wis. Germantown, Wis. 03/15/1990
10 Jennifer Poist Tucson, Ariz. McSherrystown, Pa. 03/14/1989
8 Natalie Schneider Crete, Neb. Crete, Neb. 02/11/1983
24 Christina Schwab Lakewood, Colo. Dane, Wis. 07/31/1980
33 Mackenzie Soldan Tuscaloosa, Ala. Hemlock, Mich. 05/14/1992
Head Coach: Stephanie Wheeler, Champaign, Illinois
Assistant Coach: Trooper Johnson, San Lorenzo, California; Amy Spangler, Madison, Wisconsin
Team Leader: Kearstin Gehlhausen, Whitewater, Wisconsin
Athletic Trainer: Karla Wessels, Lexington, Kentucky