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USA Women’s National Team Falls To Ros Casares Valencia 80-76

Despite receiving 22 points from Brittney Griner (Baylor University), the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s National Team (2-1) fell behind by as many as 15 points in the second half and was unable to bridge the gap before time expired, falling to host Ros Casares Valencia 80-76 on Wednesday night at the Fuente San Luis Municipal Arena in Valencia, Spain.

From Geno:

One of the things we talked about was that if you’ve got somebody like Brittney Griner, you have to go to her. You have to use her. Otherwise you might as well have another 6-2 kid running around. So, it wasn’t until later that it dawned on all of us, hey, throw the ball in there every chance we get. Our possessions got better and our rhythm got better because we were forcing them to defend us in the lane.

We played a really, really good team and Brittney, offensively, was really, really good again. She’s been really good every game. Defensively, playing against somebody like Ann Wauters is not easy. It’s not easy for an experienced pro, much less a kid who’s never played international basketball before. I think she learned a lot, because she saw something in guarding Ann Wauters that she hasn’t seen in two years of guarding anybody in college.

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USA Women’s National Team Fights Past Ros Casares Valencia 78-68

Swin Cash (Seattle Storm) scored a team-high 17 points to lead the  2011 USA Basketball Women’s National Team (2-0) to a hard-fought 78-68 victory over Ros Casares Valencia (1-1) in Monte di Procida, Italy. In the earlier game, Famila Schio (1-1) utilized a 21-8 third-quarter to bypass host Pallacanestro Pozzuoli (0-2) 69-52.

Cash, who averaged 14.5 ppg. and 7.5 rpg. in the two-night, four-team tournament, was named MVP and Brittney Griner (Baylor University) listed as the best post player after averaging 12.5 ppg. and 7.5 rpg. off the bench.

Additional quotes:

Auriemma: This was a completely different game than last night in the sense that this is one of the top teams in Europe. They’re well-drilled. Their coach is excellent. They shot the ball incredibly well in that whole first half. We had some foul problems, but I thought our guys did a great job of attacking them and getting them into foul trouble. We had a stretch there in the second half, where I thought the game was decided. We got five or six shots in a row and converted on three or four of them. I thought that was the deciding factor in the game.

Check the box for a Brussels Sprout/Belgian Waffle spotting.

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From Ron Kroichick at the San Francisco Chronicle: Wiggins takes on a new mission

Candice Wiggins sailed mostly under the radar during this year’s fall quarter at Stanford. She almost felt like she was in disguise as a regular student, no longer performing on the hardwood stage at Maples Pavilion.

It was a question on the lips of everybody last Wednesday – just when was the last time three bona-fide EuroLeague Women heavyweights all lost on the same night?

Defeats for defending champions Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje, 2010 runners-up Ros Casares and fellow big-hitters Halcon Avenida marked one of the most memorable evenings in recent memory.

Throw into the mix that MKB EuroLeasing were also defeated 24 hours later and that meant four of the six teams who have made up the last two Final Fours all lost during week seven. It was incredible stuff and a great way to celebrate an interesting week when Final Four was turned into a magnificent Final Eight from 2012 onwards.

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