July 11, 2007
TAIPEI, Taiwan - The U.S. fell 70-63 to the Chinese Taipei National Team in its opener at the 2007 Women's William Jones Cup tournament held Wednesday night at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium.
Team USA was paced by Baylor's Rachel Allison who contributed a team-high 16 points, while Baylor's Jhasmin Player added 12. The U.S. women, comprised of 12 former and current collegiate standouts, struggled offensively shooting just 39 percent for the ballgame and trailed by eight at the half, 45-37.
In the second half of play, the U.S. made a strong run and forced 29 turnovers to cut the lead down to as many as four points. Team USA had a chance to get within two after a missed breakaway layup with 1:20 remaining in regulation. On defense, the U.S. held Chinese Taipei to just 25 second-half points.
Texas A&M's La Toya Micheaux recorded three points and nine rebounds despite being hobbled by a sprained ankle sustained in practice last week in College Station. She was one of five starters for Team USA along with Arizona State's Briann January, George Washington's Sarah-Jo Lawrence, Oklahoma's Leah Rush and Baylor's Allison.
"I was very proud of our effort in the second half of play," U.S. Jones Cup head coach Vic Schaefer said. "Our kids played extremely hard and put themselves in a position to win the game in the end. Right now, we have to put this game behind us and get ready for a quick turnaround tomorrow night against Australia. It will be a tremendous challenge for our team, to not only bounce back from a disappointing loss, but to do it within an 18-hour time frame. We are excited about the challenge ahead and look forward to what tomorrow brings."
The seven-team round-robin tournament features two teams representing Chinese Taipei along with squads from Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the U.S. The tournament winner will be determined by overall record in pool play. The seven-day tournament runs through July 17.
The U.S. (0-1) will next face the Australian National Team (1-0) tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time. With four Olympic hopefuls on its roster, Australia handily defeated Japan, 120-59, Wednesday night in pool play.