The U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team finished the first of two U.S. Women’s International Friendly competitions with a perfect 6-0 record, and outscored its opponents, 464-272, defeating Brazil in the last game, 78-33. Closing out the three-day event at the Olympic Training Center’s Sports Center I Gym featured a streaking U.S. team against Rio 2016 Paralympic Games host Brazil.
Two-time U.S. Paralympic Games hopeful Desi Miller of Monroe, Washington, led Team USA in its final game with a double-double, going 11-for-12 from the floor for 22 points, and grabbing 10 rebounds. Miller’s performance helped pace the 2015 Parapan Am champions to a 62 shooting percentage, and outrebounding Brazil 45-26 in the final contest.
Three-time U.S. Paralympic hopeful Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin, led the team with 27 points. Team USA had help from six other players, and scored 33 points from the bench in the final game.
Lia Soares and Perla Assuncao of Brazil were the top scorers with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
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 last game between 2014 World Champion Canada and China was a close contest, as both teams were tied at the end of the second (30-30) and third quarters (43-43). Canada took a 55-54 lead at 1:04 remaining in the game, and China returned with a 56-55 advantage off of Suiling Lin lay-up with 57 seconds remaining. China turned the ball over with 16 seconds remaining, and Canada’s Arinn Young drove the length of the court for a two-point shot for the a 57-56 lead, with 2.6 seconds left.
Young and Cindy Ouellet led the Canadians with 20 points each, and grabbed 10 and 9 rebounds, respectively. China had three athletes reach double figures from the floor: Jimeng Dai with 19 points; Mingzhu Deng with 14 points; and Suiling Lin with 11 points.
Canada finished with a 4-2 record, followed by China with a 2-4 mark, and Brazil finishing 0-6 overall.
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, 6-0
2. Canada, 4-2
3. China, 2-4
4. Brazil, 0-6
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
Game #9: USA def. Canada, 86-44
Game #10: China def. Brazil, 54-33
Game #11: USA def. Brazil, 78-33
Game #12: Canada def. China, 57-56