Aussies Smite USA At Jones Cup

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TAIPEI, Taiwan- The U.S. dropped a tough 70-40 decision against the veteran-laden Australian National Team on the second day of tournament pool play at the 2007 Women’s William Jones Cup held Thursday night at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium.

Led by Texas A&M associate head coach Vic Schaefer, the U.S. women struggled offensively for the second-straight game shooting just 26 percent from the floor. Defensively, the team forced Australia to turn over the ball 22 times and held them to eight percent shooting from the perimeter. Post players La Toya Micheaux of Texas A&M and Sarah-Jo Lawrence of George Washington fouled out of the contest after playing quality minutes in the paint against physical play presented by the Australians. The U.S. trailed 34-17 at halftime, but cut the lead down to as much as 12 points in the second half of play.

Eleven of the Australian National Team members, minus five players who are currently playing in the WNBA, are on the country’s world championship roster with an average age of 26 years old. They will compete in the upcoming 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. With the victory, Australia improved to an undefeated 2-0 in pool play after defeating the Japanese National Team by a margin of 61 points on Wednesday.

“We played very well early against a very aggressive and seasoned team,” Schaefer said. “We will bounce back, because there is a lot of character on our team. We have quality young people who are very committed to our task. While we are disappointed in the result today against the Australian National Team, we will back tomorrow and ready to play the Japanese National Team. They will present another challenge for our young Americans, but one we will meet head on with great anticipation.”

With a cast of current and former collegiate standouts, the U.S. Jones Cup squad is comprised of Rachel Allison and Jhasmin Player of Baylor, Heather Ezell of Iowa State, Briann January of Arizona State, Jackie McFarland of Colorado, Angie (Gorton) Nelp of Colorado State, Kendra Reed of Southern Mississippi, Leah Rush of Oklahoma, Brittanie Taylor-James of North Carolina A&T and Katie Vieth of Kentucky.

Team USA (0-2) will take on the Japanese National Team (0-2) tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time. 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.

2007 WILLIAM JONES CUP

AUSTRALIA 70, USA 40

July 12, 2007 – 3:00 p.m.

Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium

at Taipei, Taiwan

USA …………………......... 17 23 – 40

Australia ....................... 34 36 – 70