CALI, COLOMBIA – The 2017 U.S. Women’s National Team lost its first game of the 2017 IWBF America’s Qualifier to Canada, 69-48, and have a 1-1 record in pool play. The tournament is still in pool play until Sunday. The U.S. Women’s squad was able to establish a strong half-court offense in the first half, however Canada outpaced Team USA building a 44-24 half-time lead.
In the second half, Canada narrowly outscored the U.S. Women, 25-24. Unfortunately, it was not enough for Team USA to overcome the 20-point deficit from the first half. 2016 U.S. Paralympic gold medalist Desi Miller of Monroe, Washington, led the American’s with 20 points. A pair of National Team rookies contributed eight points each: Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tennessee, and Lindsey Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon. 2016 Paralympic gold medalist Abby Dunkin of New Braunfels, Texas, was active on the boards snagging 11 rebounds and putting up 4 points on the night.
As a team, the United States shot 50 percent from the floor, to Canada’s 44 percent. Canada won the rebound game, 26-24, and forced 18 U.S. turnovers.
“We started off strong in the first and establish a half-court offense,” said U.S. Women’s Head Coach Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California. “Unfortunately, as the game went on we started trying to force passes and having more turnovers. This allowed Canada to establish a lead and extend it throughout the second quarter. Down the stretch our rookies were able to come in and this provided them their first taste of game time with Team USA. We will break down film and make some adjustments. The team looks forward to our next game and get back on track.”
Canada has three shooters reach double figures and were led by Arinn Young, who finished the day with a double-double (22 points and 13 rebounds), while Cindy Ouellett put back 21 points, and Rosalie Lalonde contributed 14 points.
Up next, Team USA will tip-off against Argentina on Saturday, August 26 at 11 a.m. central time, and will have one more game against host country Colombia on Sunday, August 27 at 3 p.m. central time.
The America’s Qualifier is a classification event that determines who will compete in the 2018 IWBF World Championship in Hamburg, Germany in August. The U.S. Women’s team will be competing against Argentina, Canada, Colombia and Brazil for a spot in Germany. Team USA must finish in the top four teams in order to qualify for the world championships.
On August 28, the placement games in the women’s tournament will start at 11 a.m. central time. The bronze-medal game is scheduled for August 29 at 3 p.m. central, with the gold-medal game set for 7 p.m. central.
NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, serves as the U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach. He is assisted by Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, and Adam Kramer of Northport, Alabama. Also joining the team is athletic trainer Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, and Team Leader Kearstin Gehlhausen of Denver, Colorado.
This is the first step for the U.S. Women’s Team as they are focused on advancing through the quadrennial to defend its Rio Paralympic gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Last September, Team USA also managed to break two of their own records (most points in a game and largest margin of victory) en route to the gold medal going 7-0 in the process.
IWBF America’s Qualifier
August 23-30, 2017
USA def. Brazil, 55-53
Canada def. USA, 69-48
Date Time (CST) / U.S. Opponent
8/26 11 AM / Argentina
8/27 3 PM / Colombia
IWBF America’s Qualifier Medal Rounds
8/28 11 AM, Women’s Play-offs
8/29 3 PM, Women’s Bronze-medal game
8/29 7 PM, Women’s Gold-medal game