Griner Leads USA Team with 22 points Sophia Young adds 12 for USA.
VALENCIA, Spain - Despite receiving 22 points from Baylor Lady Bear Brittney Griner 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.
Griner, who scored 16 of her points in the second half, also contributed eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun) and former BU star Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars) scored 12 points apiece, while Swin Cash (Seattle Storm) added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty) dished out six assists.
"Every time they got me the ball, I would face them, post up strong, take my time," said Griner of her play in the second half. "As far as guarding them in the second half, I just tried to beat them to the spot and alter their shot instead of running at them as they run past me."
Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) fouled out of the game with seven points and five boards in 21 minutes. Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), who missed the USA's first two exhibition games in Europe due to a sore right knee, was also in foul trouble much of the game and had four points and four boards in 10 minutes; while Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars), who leaves the U.S. squad to join her European club tomorrow, scored four points against Ros Casares and averaged 5.0 points a game during her three-game stint with the USA team.
"The way we started the game, we put ourselves in a hole," said Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. "We were climbing uphill right from the beginning because of some questionable shot selection on our part and a couple mistakes we made defensively. And, they're a really, really good team playing on their home floor.
"Brittney, offensively, was really, really good again," Auriemma added. "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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