TAIPEI, Taiwan- Five players scored in double figures as the U.S. claimed a silver medal with an 83-72 victory over Chinese Taipei (A) on the final day of the 2007 Women’s William Jones Cup held Tuesday night at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium.
Led by Texas A&M associate head coach Vic Schaefer, Team USA (4-2) tied for second place with Chinese Taipei-B (4-2), while the Australian National Team completed the tournament with an undefeated 6-0 record in pool play.
Leading the way for Team USA was Baylor’s Rachel Allison who notched a team-high 13 points and 10 rebounds against Chinese Taipei. Oklahoma’s Leah Rush, George Washington’s Sarah-Jo Lawrence and Arizona State’s Briann January each poured in 12, while Iowa State’s Heather Ezell added 11. January dished out a game-high six assists and seven steals for the game.
Texas A&M’s La Toya Micheaux (Missouri City, Texas) grabbed nine of the team’s 50 rebounds and averaged 7.4 points and 6.8 rebounds over the course of the seven-day tournament. She recorded double digits with 10 points versus New Zealand (2-4) on July 16 and a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds against Japan (0-6) on July 13. Micheaux is one of five returning starters to the A&M lineup for the upcoming 2007-08 season.
After leading 43-34 at halftime, the U.S. jumped out to an early 14-point lead in the second half of play. Chinese Taipei later trimmed that lead down to as many as two, 64-62, connecting on 6-of-9 three-pointers in front of its home crowd. Ultimately, the contest was won on the boards as the U.S. outrebounded Chinese Taipei, 50-23, with 27 coming on the offensive end of the glass. Team USA shot 35 percent from the floor (22-of-62), while Chinese Taipei shot 47 percent (17-of-36).
“I thought we showed tremendous courage and heart today,” Schaefer said. “Our kids were able to survive in a very hostile environment against a highly-motivated team. Down the stretch, our team would not be denied. It is one thing to play for a gold medal knowing that if you don’t win it, you are still going to get silver. It is another thing to know you are playing for one medal and you have to win. We were a little tentative at times, but in the end, we found a way to get it done and we showed tremendous character in the process.”
Athletes In Action, an associate member of USA Basketball, sponsored this year’s U.S. Jones Cup Team. The tour to Taiwan is just one of many for AIA. Between May and August, hundreds of college student-athletes and AIA staff travel the world to play competitive games, run clinics and attend sports camps. Each opportunity is used to share the matchless love of Jesus Christ as well as to teach the athletes how to be lifetime ministers of the gospel.
“Shine His light has been our motto for most of the tournament and today, it was very bright,” Schaefer said. “These young people have accomplished an incredible task. They played in a highly-competitive tournament field versus veteran teams that have been playing with each other for years. It (our silver medal performance) is proof that all things are possible through Christ. I am blessed that I was able to come along for the ride, because it has been an incredible 17 days.”
The U.S. last fielded a Jones Cup Team in 2000 and brought home gold. The 12-player U.S. roster included former and current collegiate players selected by Schaefer and the AIA staff. Colorado’s Jackie McFarland, Southern Mississippi’s Kendra Reed, North Carolina A&T’s Brittany Taylor-James, Colorado State’s Angie (Gorton) Nelp and Kentucky’s Katie Vieth rounded out this year’s Jones Cup Team. Schaefer, an associate head coach at his alma mater since 2003, was assisted on the sidelines by Oklahoma City University head coach Rob Edmisson and Texas A&M senior forward Katy Pounds (Shallowater, Texas).
“My staff has been outstanding,” Schaefer said. “Rob and Katy are absolutely incredible coaches. They handled their assignments with professionalism and enthusiasm. Not only is Oklahoma City University lucky to have Rob as a coach, but even luckier to have Rob the person. He is a veteran and has been in many situations throughout his coaching career. His expertise was invaluable. Katy was outstanding in her first coaching assignment on a pretty big stage. Her insight came from first-hand experience as a player in our system at Texas A&M. This experience will be invaluable to her both as a player and as a coach in the years to come.”
2007 WILLIAM JONES CUP
USA 83, CHINESE TAIPEI (A) 72
July 16, 2007 – 5:30 p.m.
Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium
at Taipei, Taiwan
BOX SCORE – U.S. (4-2) JANUARY, Briann 3-7 3-4 12; LAWRENCE, Sarah-Jo 5-16 2-4 12; PLAYER, Jhasmin 2-4 4-4 8; ALLISON, Rachel 6-11 1-3 13; RUSH, Leah 2-5 2-2 12; EZELL, Heather 0-3 2-2 11; MICHEAUX, La Toya 1-5 1-5 3; McFARLAND, Jackie 2-4 1-2 5; REED, Kendra 0-1 0-0 0; TAYLOR-JAMES, Brittany 1-4 3-3 5; NELP, Angie 0-2 2-2 2. TOTALS 22-62 21-31 83.
USA……………………….. 43 40 – 83
Chinese Taipei (A) ......... 34 38 – 72
3-point goals – 6-15 (EZELL, Heather 3-8). Rebounds – 50 (ALLISON, Rachel 10). Assists – 14 (JANUARY, Briann 6).