September 21, 2014

Team USA loses to France

Here's the AP game summary:
Sandrine Gruda had 26 points and 15 rebounds to help France stun the U.S. women's national team 76-72 in an exhibition game on Sunday.

It's the first loss by the Americans in an international game since falling to a team from the Czech Republic in 2011 when the U.S. was on a European tour.

The Americans, who beat the French in the gold medal game at the Olympics in 2012, had a 12-point halftime lead and were up 60-52 with 6:39 left in the game before the hosts rallied. France led 71-67 with 27 seconds left after Celine Dumerc hit a jumper. Maya Moore made a 3-pointer 7 seconds later to make it a one-point game.

After the teams exchanged free throws, Dumerc made the first of two from the foul line before corralling her own miss with nine seconds left to seal the win.

Nneka started for the first time and played a good game — six points on three of four field goals, five rebounds, an assist and a block.

Team USA fielded only eleven players today — Skylar Diggins, Stefanie Dolson, Jantel Lavendar and Kayla McBride did not play. I have no idea if this is indicative of the final selection. There is no news yet of Brittney Griner.

For more about today's game, see the USA BB game recap and the FIBA live statistics.

Team USA will now head to Prague for a final exhibition game against Czech Republic on Sept. 23 at 10:00 am PT, before traveling to Istanbul for their final pre-World Championship preparations.

The FIBA World Championship games will begin on Saturday Sept. 27 with three rounds of intra-group competition. The USA is grouped with China, Serbia and Angola.

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