HAMBURG, GERMANY - After a pair a tough back-to-back losses, The U.S. Women’s team responded with a pair of back-to-back blowout wins.
The U.S. women’s national team used a balanced scoring effort to defeat Argentina 62-30 in their final game of pool play. Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota led all scorers with 17 points, while dishing out eight assists and zero turnover. Lindsey Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon added 15 points and seven assists of her own.
Ball movement was a staple in this game foe the U.S. early on. The offense looked more fluid than the last four games, with each player patiently passing the rock for open looks. Zurbrugg and Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tennessee ran the offense from the top of the key, picking apart lapses in the Argentina defense. The Americans spread out the workload in the first period, with six players scoring and every basket coming off an assist. Argentina could not crack the American interior defense and found themselves down 21-11.
“[Cleaning up] is something we talked about a lot today,” Hollermann said. “Cleaning up picking angles, what we’re doing offensively, defensively, switches, and communication.”
The U.S. began the second quarter hitting its first four shots in a row. Turnovers cost Argentina opportunities to keep it close, and the U.S. built a cushion. Team USA worked together to get Hollermann the ball on the move, allowing her to score or facilitate before the defense could react. Abby Dunkin of New Brunfels, Texas, found her shooting touch in this quarter, as she and Hollermann combined to score 15 of the U.S.'s 20 points in the quarter. The Americans held a strong 41-22 lead at the half.
Team USA entered cruise control in the second, as the Argentinians did not have the firepower or defense to keep up. Dunkin finished the game with 11 points off the bench, her tying highest point total in the tournament so far. The U.S. dominated the paint, outscoring their opponent 34-12 down low. Every player for the Americans played, and the bench helped grow the final margin to 36 points.
“The communication for our bench has really gotten a lot better,” say U.S. women’s head coach Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California. “Everyone is staying more focused and engaged, and you can tell that’s helping on the court.”
The win improved their pool play record to 3-2, and locks the U.S. in third place of their pool. They’ll face a tough matchup against either the Netherlands or Great Britain in the quarterfinals Thursday.
“If we take care of everything there we’re in control of, it’ll make us ready for whoever shows up,” Johnson said. “ We’ve been scouting everybody else, but our problems tend to be turnovers and stuff we created upon ourselves.”
Joining NWBA Hall of Famer Johnson on the sideline are his assistant coaches 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)
USA def. France, 57-25 (2-2)
USA def. Argentina, 66-30 (3-2)
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
8/23 Quarterfinals, vs Netherlands/Great Britain, 12:00 PM
The U.S. women play their fifth and final game of pool play in the IWBF Championships against Argentina today at 6:15 AM, EST. Stay here to watch the game, get live stats and post-game recaps!