July 22, 2012
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- The USA Women's National Team concluded its pre-Olympic Games exhibition schedule undefeated at 5-0, but the fifth win didn't come easy. Playing the Turkish National Team with a loud crowd on hand to support the home team, the USA women held off a strong challenge, 80-61, Sunday evening at Abdi Pekci Arena.
The USA's depth eventually wore down Turkey, which won the silver medal at the 2011 FIBA Europe Championship and earned its first Olympic berth this summer via the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament. By the fourth quarter the USA found some breathing room after leading by no more than eight points in the first 30 minutes. The Americans had led 17-16 after the first period, 32-27 at the half and 55-48 after three stanzas.
In stark contrast to the blazing 70.8 shooting percentage from the field in the first quarter against Croatia on Saturday, the USA was an icy 0-for-7 to start Sunday's game. The Americans shot just 28.6 percent from the field (6-21 FGs) in the first period and finished the contest at 45.8 percent overall (33-72 FGs).
Former Lady Vols Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings were in the starting lineup for the fifth-consecutive exhibition contest, with Parker having the most production in this contest. She had game honors with 12 rebounds, and chipped in eight points, three steals, two blocks and an assist in 22 minutes.
Catchings, who is one of six USA players who have played overseas with Turkish club team Galatasaray, logged 18 minutes of duty on Sunday. Her stat line included two points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal for the American cause.
After practicing in London on July 26 and 27, the USA's first contest of the 2012 Olympic Games is against Croatia, which the USA beat in exhibition play 109-55 on July 21, at 4:45 p.m. (11:45 a.m. EDT) on July 28. Next will be a tilt with Angola at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT) on July 30 and a rematch against Turkey at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 1. The USA will then face Czech Republic at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 EDT) on Aug. 3 before wrapping up preliminary round play against China 4:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 5.