HAMBURG, GERMANY - After two quarters of tightly contested action, the U.S women lost their rhythm and with it, the game.
Despite another strong all-around effort from Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tennessee, the U.S. women lost to China, 64-43. Wood played all 40 minutes in this contest, scoring 18 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Lindsey Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon chipped in 15 points, as only four players on the U.S. team scored at least one point. China’s Xuemei Zhang led all scorer with 22 point and 8 rebounds.
The first quarter saw back and forth, tense action as both teams ended the quarter tied in points (14), rebounds (7) and (assists). The Chinese defense focused on shutting down gold-medal Paralympian Rose Hollerman of Elysian, Minnesota with double teams and jumping out on screens. Hollerman took advantage of the pressure by finding her University of Texas-Arlington teammate Wood early and often. They flashed their chemistry numerous times, on drive and kick plays or setting screen to free one each other up for jumper. Hollermann finished with only six points (3-of-10 shooting) but found her teammates for 9 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds.
A battle between snipers emerged in the second quarter, as China’s Suiling Lin traded shots with Wood and Zurbrugg. Lin would finish the game with 17 points, with most coming from a variety of mid-range jump shots.
Unforced errors started to creep up on Team USA, commiting six turnovers by halftime on errant passes. China’s defense packed the paint, forcing the U.S to go deep into the shot clock on several possessions. The Americans still found ways to score, slipping through the cracks China’s of pick and roll defense. China held a slight lead at the half, 26-24.
The third quarter turned out to be the difference in the contest. More giveaways from the Americans led to fast break opportunities for China, who scored 15 points off of turnovers. The U.S finished with 16 turnovers, compared to only 4 for the Chinese.
The American’s offense stalled in the third, as the Chinese went on a 16-2 run. During that stretch, Morgan Wood picked up a rare unsportsmanlike foul with 3:41 on clock. The Chinese would head in the fourth period up 48-32.
Both teams played pretty evenly in the final quarter of action, with China largest lead growing to 22 at one point.
Following back-to-back losses, the U.S. women sit at 1-2 in pool play with a chance to right the ship on Tuesday against France at 10:15 a.m. Eastern. The U.S. is 4-0 all-time against France in the World Championships, recently winning 74-35 back in 2014.
The U.S. Women’s Team is coached by NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, and his assistant coaches are Amy Spangler of Madison Wisconsin, and Adam Kramer of Northport, Alabama. Kearstin Gehlhausen of Denver, Colorado serves as the Team Leader, with Karla Franconi of Lexington, Kentucky, filling the athletic trainer position.
The U.S. has returned home with a medal from every World Championships, except for the 2014 World Championships, since its inception in 1990, accumulating two gold medals and four silver medals. USA has played for the gold medal in six of the last seven IWBF World Championships.
2018 IWBF World Championships
August 16 - 26, 2018
2018 IWBF World Championships Results
USA def. Algeria, 75-38 (1-0)
Germany def. USA, 70-54 (1-1)
China def. USA, 74 - 43 (1-2)
U.S. Women’s Schedule for 2018 IWBF World Championships
8/17 vs Algeria 11:30 AM (Eastern/New York)
8/19 vs Germany 6:45 AM
8/20 vs China 12:00 PM
8/21 vs France 10:15 AM
8/22 vs Argentina 4:00 AM
The U.S. women play their third pool match of the IWBF Championships against China today at 12:00 AM, EST. Stay here to watch the game, get live stats and post-game recaps!