By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
DONG XIANG, China. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Former Green Bay women’s basketball standouts Adrian Ritchie and Stephanie Sension must be getting used to being called champions. After becoming regular season Horizon League Champions and Horizon League Tournament Champions two months ago, the two can now call themselves champions of the 2013 Four Nations Tournament in China. Tied with the Chinese team with a 4-2 record, Ritchie, Sension and the rest of the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Star Team went 3-0 in the final leg of its 15-day tour to finish as tournament champions with a 7-2 performance.
Game 1: USA 58, Brazil 50
Ritchie hit a three to open the contest, but it would be the only shot from the field Team USA would make in the opening quarter. The team hit just 1-of-13 from the field in the first quarter and found itself down 13-5 heading into the second frame. With just a 16 percent effort from the floor in the first half, Team USA pulled within one in the second quarter, taking a 23-22 deficit into the break.
The red, white and blue changed its offensive strategy in the second half and focused on driving to the basket, drawing numerous Brazil fouls in the process. The Americans scored 21 points from the line in the second half, allowing the team to pull ahead and hold on for the eight-point victory.
Ritchie scored seven points in the win, while Sension added two. The contest marked the first time an international basketball game was played in the city of Dong Xiang’s history.
Game 2: USA 85, Australia 63
After struggling offensively in the win against Brazil, Team USA moved past its shooting woes to hand Australia an 85-63 defeat in front of more than 5,000 fans. After hitting just 16 percent of their shots in the previous contest, the Americans connected on 54 percent of attempts from the field and 58 percent (10-for-17) from downtown—including a 3-for-4 effort from Ritchie.
Team USA dominated just about every aspect of the game, holding a 37-23 advantage on the glass while containing the Aussies to just 39 percent shooting.
Behind her three triples on the afternoon, Ritchie scored 13 points and added a rebound and a steal. Sension also had a productive afternoon with nine points, six rebounds and a block, but suffered a mild concussion in the victory.
Game 3: USA 66, China 61
In front of a hostile sellout crowd of 6,500 Chinese fans, the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars became tournament champions with a 66-61 win over China. It was a close contest throughout, with Team USA holding a one-point lead at the break after a banked-in Chinese three at the buzzer.
The Americans took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter and with the help of a stingy defensive effort, held on for the five-point victory to become tournament champions.
Ritchie scored five points with four rebounds and five assists, while Sension was inactive after her concussion in the previous contest.
1. U.S., 7-2
2. China, 5-4
4. Brazil, 1-8
The team is expected to arrive home on American soil tomorrow.
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