Blistering Offense and Stifling Defense Helps Lead Delle Donne, Team USA To University Games Semifinals
August 18, 2011
Photo Courtesy of USA Basketball
SHENZHEN, China – Putting together a 21-0 scoring run to open its quarterfinal match-up against Finland, the USA Women’s World University Games team, paced by University of Delaware junior Elena Delle Donne’s 17 points, advanced to the tournament’s semifinal round Thursday morning.
The American squad improved to 4-0 at the tournament, knocking out the Finnish squad 96-30. Delle Donne (at right) scored Team USA’s first eight points, knocking down a pair of threes and hitting a mid-range jumper. Delle Donne tied for the game-high points, along with Notre Dame’s Devereaux Peters.
The rising Blue Hen junior All-American also snared six rebounds while adding two assists and a block. Delle Donne finished the game with six-of-13 shooting, including three-for-six from beyond the arc in her 20 minutes of play.
The Wilmington, Del. native was one of 11 Americans to score during the game. As a squad, Team USA went 50.0 percent from the field, knocking down 41 of their 82 attempts.
“We were able to pressure the ball a lot and follow through with the scouting report.” said Delle Donne of Team USA’s defense. “We locked down the players who wanted to shoot and knew the players who wanted to drive. I thought we executed that perfectly.”
The Americans allowed Finland just 10 points in the first quarter, followed by scores of seven in the second and third quarters, and only gave up six points in the fourth.
Next up on the slate for Team USA will be Australia, which defeated Canada 79-44. Tess Madgen, who posted 14 points, led the Australians. Abby Bishop and Mia Newley also hit double figures, posting 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Americans and Australians square off in the semifinals on Friday at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time). On the other side of the bracket, Taiwan will face Sweden at 6 a.m. (EDT).
Delle Donne leads Team USA in scoring, putting up 13.5 points per outing. She is second in rebounds, grabbing 7.3 per game, despite averaging just 17.3 minutes per game. She is playing a balanced game on the glass, pulling down 16 defensive rebounds and 13 on offense.
From the floor, Delle Donne is knocking down shots at a 43.2 percent clip, going 19-of-44, including eight of her 17 three point attempts (47.1).