TAIPEI, Taiwan – The United States pushed past the Czech Republic, 72-53, to win Pool C Wednesday night at the Heping Basketball Gymnasium. The U.S. advanced to Friday night’s quarterfinals.
The USA pushed through a cold first quarter to take a strong lead into halftime. The Americans started the game 0-for-9, but they went 8-for-9 from the foul line and trailed 17-15 at the end of the first period.
Senior Ieshia Small went 7-for-7 from the free throw line herself in the first period and scored 13 points in the first half to lead the way for the USA. Back-to-back three-pointers by senior Kristen Confroy helped the Americans jump out to a 32-26 lead with under 3:00 left in the second quarter. They would take a 39-32 advantage into halftime.
The USA took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Czechs 20-3 in the 10-minute period. “I really liked our resiliency after an uncharacteristic slow start,” head coach Brenda Frese. “I thought we showed grit and resolve and really fought back against a tough team. We’re excited to win the pool and move on to quarterfinals.”
Small led the U.S. with 17 points and sophomore Kaila Charles added 15 points and 11 boards. Michigan State alum Tori Jankoska scored 11 points.
The USA finished atop Pool C with a record of 3-0. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be Aug. 25 and 26, then the medal round games will be played Aug. 28. The U.S. will play Australia in the quarterfinals Friday at 5:30 a.m. ET.
Live stats are available for all games at www.2017.taipei and live coverage, including a Periscope live stream, will be on the team’s Twitter at @umdwbb and Facebook page. Should the U.S. advance, live streaming will be available for later rounds.
The Maryland women’s basketball team was selected by the United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) to represent the United States in the World University Games. 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.