USA - Tamika Catchings leads women to a 72-49 victory against Phard Napoli
NAPELS (Training camp) – Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) posted a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the 2007-08 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team (2-0) to a 72-49 victory against professional club team Phard Napoli at the Pala Barbuto in Napels on Thursday night. Much like its first game against the Italian National Team last night, the USA squad spent the first half in a tough battle but dominated in the second half for the win and is a perfect 2-0 at the midway point of its 2007 Tour of Italy.
"Once again we came out slow," said USA and Seattle Storm head coach Anne Donovan . "Last night in the first half and again tonight we're just not coming out with our starters putting the hammer down. I thought we did a better job at halftime, talked about some defensive adjustments, and our energy was better. That will certainly be our focus moving forward, starting the game and not waiting for the second half to start to kick in."
After struggling in a first half that saw the score see-saw, the USA trailed 30-28 with 6:27 before the break. Alana Beard (Washington Mystics) knotted the game with a jumper at 6:09 and that spurred an 8-1 run that gave the Americans the lead for good, 36-31, at 2:34. By halftime the gap remained at five points, 38-33.
Katie Smith (Detroit Shock) hit back-to-back threes to open the USA's second half scoring, however, the Napels squad would not go away and with 13:46 to play the USA held a 44-43 edge. That was as close as it would get. The red, white and blue outscored Napoli 9-2 over the remainder of the quarter and owned a 53-45 lead heading into the final stanza.
England hold their nerve to make it through to the World Cup Final at a sold-out Lord's on Sunday.