TAIPEI, Taiwan – Texas A&M’s La Toya Micheaux turned in a double-double performance as the U.S. defeated Korea, 94-68, in tournament pool play at the 2007 Women’s William Jones Cup held Saturday afternoon at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium.
Micheaux, a junior center from Missouri City, Texas, registered 14 points and 15 rebounds versus the Korean National Team. She shot 6-of-14 from the floor with an array of post and spin moves in the lane. Micheaux also dominated in the paint versus a Korean post player who participated in WNBA training camp for the Phoenix Mercury in May.
The U.S. raced out to a steady 52-37 halftime lead behind the first-half scoring production of Baylor’s Jhasmin Player, Iowa State’s Heather Ezell and Micheaux. Transition offense was key for Team USA as they went up against a very aggressive man defense presented by the Korean National Team. Player recorded a game-high tying 19 points while also bringing down eight rebounds. She also contributed two steals and two blocks in the winning cause for the U.S.
“It was another fun day for the American team,” said Texas A&M associate head coach Vic Schaefer, who is serving on his first international coaching assignment as U.S. Jones Cup head coach. “It is good to see our team playing with a lot of confidence. Our players are hitting their stride and really playing well with each other. Team chemistry is important with any team and this one is starting to really gel. They are fun to watch and coach.”
Baylor’s Rachel Allison had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Ezell added 18 points and two assists with zero turnovers at the point guard position. For the second-straight contest, the U.S. outrebounded the opposition by a margin of 53-15, with 24 coming on the offensive end versus Korea. Oklahoma’s Leah Rush got into foul trouble early in the first half and ended the game with four points and four rebounds.
“Our day off tomorrow is probably coming at the right time,” Schaefer said. “Our kids have really laid it on the line the past four days against some very good basketball teams. It has been fun to see our transformation. Our transition offense is as good as I have seen in a long time. Give credit to our kids and how hard they are playing defensively and then turning and running in transition offense. God is good!”
The U.S. (2-2) currently sits in fourth-place in tournament pool play behind Australia (4-0), Chinese Taipei-B (2-1) and New Zealand (2-1). They are followed by Chinese Taipei-A (1-2), Korea (1-2) and Japan (0-4). Team USA will take a bye on Sunday and close out tournament play versus New Zealand on Monday, July 16 and Chinese Taipei (A) on Tuesday, July 17. This year’s U.S. Jones Cup team is sponsored by Athletes In Action which is an associate member of USA Basketball.
2007 WILLIAM JONES CUP
USA 94, KOREA 68
July 14, 2007 – 3:00 p.m.
Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium
at Taipei, Taiwan
BOX SCORE – U.S. (2-2) PLAYER, Jhasmin 9-16 1-3 19; LAWRENCE, Sarah-Jo 2-3 0-0 4; JANUARY, Briann 1-1 0-0 2; MICHEAUX, La Toya 6-14 2-4 14; EZELL, Heather 3-4 3-3 18; ALLISON, Rachel 4-8 5-6 13; McFARLAND, Jackie 2-4 3-3 7; REED, Kendra 1-2 2-2 4; RUSH, Leah 2-5 0-0 4; NELP, Angie 1-2 0-0 2; TAYLOR-JAMES, Brittany 3-5 1-2 7; COLLINS, Kaite 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS 34-65 17-23 94.
USA……………………….. 52 42 – 94
Korea ........................... 37 31 – 68
3-point goals – 3-7 (EZELL, Heather 3-6). Rebounds – 53 (MICHEAUX, La Toya 15). Assists – 18 (JANUARY, Briann 6).
Tournament Buzz…The U.S. women have been the talk of the tournament. With the youngest team among all seven countries in the Jones Cup field, Team USA is the only squad to hold the tournament-leading Australian National Team to 70 points. The Aussies blew out Japan (120-59), New Zealand (99-52) and Chinese Taipei (90-45) and have a loaded-roster comprised of Olympic hopefuls for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.