The US had to dominate this game and they did. They executed a picture perfect blow-out 115-47 win over Jamaica yesterday. The defense was much improved over the previous day (Anne Donovan was heard chastising her squad for allowing 13 points in the third quarter when the target was to keep them at 12 or under) and the offense flowed nicely. It did not matter who the US put on the floor (everyone played 10 or more minutes) things executed the way they were supposed to execute. Tina Thompson (15 points/3 rebounds/3 assists/4 steals) and Seimone Augustus (15 points/2 assists) led the team in scoring but they had double figure help from Diana Taurasi (12 points/4 rebounds/3 assists), Sue Bird (11 points/2 rebounds/2 assists) and Kara Lawson (11 points/7 rebounds/7 assists/5 steals) as well as decent scoring from the rest of the squad. No player scored less than 4 points for the US. For Jamaica, Simone Edwards continued her great performance with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals, but she finally got some help scoring from guard Nicole Louden who scored 14 points with 3 rebounds and hit both her three point attempts. Candace Parker blew a breakaway dunk in the third quarter...she took off a step too early and began her descent before she got to the rim sending the ball off the back rim. She responded by scoring off a hook in the paint and drawing a foul on her next possession. The dunk would have been a nice statement that the US is serious.
Brazil racked up their second win, this one a blowout 104-40 victory over host nation Chile. As fellow Storm Alum Edwards did for Jamaica, so Storm starter Iziane Castro Marques again did for Brazil, leading the team in scoring with 22 Points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. She got help from Jucimara Evangelista Dantas (16 points/6 rebounds/3 steals) and Micaela Martins Jacintho (12 points/2 assists). The rest of Brazil saw every player with a well balanced 5 or more minutes and 3 or more points. Ziomara Morrison Jara (20 points/5 rebounds) and Paola Naranjo Postigo (11 points/4 rebounds) led the way from Chile who turned the ball over 30 times, 18 of them on steals from Brazil's defense.
Cuba beat Canada 75-52 a day after they made the US work for their first tournament victory. Cuba was led by Yamara Amargo Delgado (16 points/2 rebounds/5 assists), Yayma Boulet Peillon (13 points/6 rebounds) and Yakelyn Plutin Tizon (13 points/5 rebounds/2 steals). Canada was led by Tamara Tatham (13 points/3 rebounds) and Amanda Brown (10 points/5 rebounds).
Mexico faced Argentina but the score is not yet available. Given the challenge that Argentina gave Brazil, I will take a guess that the weaker Mexico is now at 0-2 for the tournament.
The US takes on Canada at 13:00 PST today on NBA TV. So far it is looking like the US, Brazil and Cuba are the top teams...we'll have to see how that pans out. If the US were to get sloppy and lose today they would be tied with Canada and possibly Cuba were Cuba to win as well. The top four teams (two from each group) in the primary advance to the semi-finals and the remaining teams battle for positions 5-8 in the tournament.