By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
NAN’AN, China. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – With the help of former Green Bay women’s basketball stars Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) and Stephanie Sension (Hopkins, Minn.) the NetScouts Team USA women’s basketball team completed a 3-0 sweep over China, Australia and Brazil in the Nan’an portion of its 15-day international tournament. The four teams will now move to Ganzhou, China for the second set of three games.
Game 1: USA 57, China 56
Team USA opened the tournament by squeaking by the host team with a thrilling 57-56 victory. The team forced 17 Chinese turnovers and pushed out to an early first-half lead, but foul trouble kept China close in the second half of the contest. Ritchie went 2-for-6 from long range and finished with eight points, six rebounds and two steals while Sension added seven points and four rebounds.
Game 2: USA 68, Australia 67
Finding his team down 18 points in the third quarter, Team USA head coach Chris Denker switched Ritchie from shooting guard to point guard and watched as his team battled back to pull out a second consecutive one-point victory.
“I thought Adrian did a great job for us at the point, once we made that change our offense picked up,” Denker said.
A triple from Sension late in the fourth quarter gave Team USA the lead, but the Aussies matched basket after basket before two late free throws put the red, white and blue up by three. Australia was able to hit a late two, putting the final score at 68-67.
Ritchie put up seven points, five rebounds, three assists and five steals, while Sension had five points, a rebound, an assist and a steal.
Game 3: USA 51, Brazil 45
In front of 3,600 fans, Team USA completed its sweep of the Nan’an portion of the tournament with a 51-45 win over Brazil. Team USA had issues finishing layups and shots under the basket, but held Brazil to just 13 first-half points en route to its third straight win.
Ritchie finished with eight points, two rebounds, five assists and two steals and Sension chipped in two points and two rebounds.
Team USA opens the second leg of the tournament today against Austrailia in the Chinese city of Ganzhou. For more information on the tournament, visit netscoutsbasketball.com.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix , @GBPhoenixWBB and @JustinGrones.
Like Green Bay Women’s Basketball and Green Bay Phoenix Athletics on Facebook.