By C. Coward
Photos: Sue Favor.
Los Angeles 98, China National Team 71 | Box Score
With a vocal contingent of Chinese fans cheering them on, the China National Team gave the Los Angeles Sparks a good match in the first half at Pasadena College. At the break, the Sparks led 47-34. By the end of the third quarter, the Sparks had increased their lead to 78-50.
Los Angeles outplayed their visitors in the second half and had a balanced effort from all players who saw action in the win.
“I thought several of our players were especially good tonight,” said Sparks head coach Carol Ross. “They will get better as they play more together. We have to continue to build chemistry and make sure that we’re all on the same page.”
Rookie Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Marissa Coleman added 15 points and four rebounds. Kristi Toliver had 12 points and five assists. Ebony Hoffman scored 11 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Rashidat Junaid had 12 points and three rebounds. April Sykes scored nine points, had five assists, three rebounds and three steals. Tyra White had five points.
The Sparks outrebounded China 35 to 23.
Song Yanyan led China with 19 points and 6-9 center Wei Wei had 8 points and 10 rebounds.
Ross praised Ogwumike’s effort in the win.
“Nneka had great energy,” said Ross, “she played the way she’s always played. She played both ends tough, and she played with great passion. She was very active and aggressive and it led to a lot of great touches for her both defensively and offensively.”
Typically modest Ogwumike downplayed her double-double debut.
“I just go out there and I try my best to play hard and have fun and do whatever my teammates need me to do.”
Atlanta 91, Tulsa 89 | Box Score
Tulsa visited Atlanta in the first game of the day that tipped off early yesterday afternoon. They nearly overcame Atlanta but the Dream prevailed beating the Shock 91-89. Tulsa shot better than their opponent and had a 45.3 field goal percentage to the Dream’s 42.7. However, the Dream outrebounded the Shock 40 to 39 and boasted a 52.2 three-point shot percentage to the Shock’s 25.8.
Guard Laurie Koehn led the Dream with 21 points. Lindsey Harding and Courtney Paris both had 11 points. Harding added six assists while Paris pulled down seven rebounds.
Indiana 69, San Antonio 67 | Box Score
The Indiana Fever beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 69-67 on the road in the last game of the night. Held at Trinity University in San Antonio, the matchup was decided in the last seconds when Fever guard Briann January made a game-winning layup with 0:03 left on the clock.
January enters the season after missing last year due to a torn ACL. Roneeka Hodges, a former guard for the Silver Stars, led the Fever with 16 points. January finished with 12 points.
Danielle Adams came off the bench for the Silver Stars to lead her team with 12 points plus seven rebounds. Rookie Shenise Johnson had 11 points and five rebounds. Jia Perkins and rookie Ziomara Morrison had 10 points each.
Tags: Nneka Ogwumike