KAZAN, Russia — The games are getting progressively closer for the Team USA women at the World University Games. Just not that much closer.
Wednesday it was Brazil’s turn to go up against the Americans. The Brazilians fared better than both Mali and the Czech Republic, yet still fell 105-75.
The American team, skippered by Oklahoma women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale in her first head coaching stint for USA Basketball, is finished with the preliminary round with a 3-0 record.
The biggest reason the Brazilians failed to play Team USA any closer than 30 points was Sooner shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg, who has joined her coach on for the games.
Ellenberg spent only 19 minutes on the court but made them count for a game-high 19 points. She canned 7 of 13 shot attempts, including 5 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc.
All of Ellenberg’s points came in the first half, though it only took a quarter, in which she scored 14, for the Americans to establish control, leading 36-16 after 10 minutes.
“We had a great start and a big first quarter,” Coale said. “Every time that we shared the ball, went inside-outside or changed sides of the floor, we got great shots and made most of them.”
Ellenberg’s five 3-pointers tied the American mark for World University Games competition. Suzie McConnell also made five against Ireland in 1991.
The World University Games are hosted biannually and are an Olympic-style event, involving several sports, open to male and female athletes between 17 and 24 years of age who have been a college or university student within the last year.
In 16 previous World University Games, the U.S. has claimed eight gold medals in women’s basketball competition, including two years ago in Shenzhen, China.