TAIPEI, Taiwan – The United States jumped out to a 15 point lead and never looked back as it beat Uganda, 121-34, in its World University Games opener Monday afternoon in Hsinchu,Taiwan.
The Maryland women’s basketball team, which was selected to represent the U.S., rolled to a dominant starting victory at the Hsinchu Municipal Gymnasium. All 11 players scored and eight finished in double figures, led by sophomore Blair Watson with 21 points and Michigan State alum Tori Jankoska with 16 points.
“We really set the tone from the tip on both ends of the floor,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “We’ve been talking all summer about how this is bigger than us. We got better defensively as a team. I loved our unselfishness with our 34 assists on 45 field goals made and everyone scored.”
Senior Kristen Confroy started off with two quick three-pointers to jumpstart the USA’s offense to a 17-2 advantage in the first three minutes. The U.S. cruised to a 35-7 lead at the end of the first period.
The U.S. led 68-14 at halftime. The Americans went 28-39 from the field to shoot 72 percent from the field in the first half. They outrebounded Uganda 27 to 11 in the first two periods. The USA didn’t let up in the second half, outscoring Uganda 29-9 in the third quarter.
Sophomores Kaila Charles and Stephanie Jones each added 14 points, and Confroy finished with 13 points. Jones grabbed team-high 10 rebounds. Senior Ieshia Small, junior Brianna Fraser and freshman Channise Lewis each added 10 points.
As a team, the U.S. shot 57 percent from the field (45-79). The Americans held Uganda to 21 percent shooting from the field and forced 38 turnovers. The USA outrebounded Uganda 61 to 28.
The Terrapins were selected by the United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) to represent the United States in the World University Games.
The USA will take on Poland at 12:30 a.m. ET on Aug. 22, then the Czech Republic at 8:00 a.m. ET on Aug. 23 to finish out pool play. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be Aug. 25 and 26, then the medal round games will be played Aug. 28.
The World University Games will conclude Aug. 30 with the closing ceremony.
The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The event is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24, and are or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university.