Charles scores 15 in tournament victory
EKATERINBURG, Russia -- Tina Charles scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help the U.S. women's basketball national team beat Euroleasing Sopron 79-65 in round-robin play and remain undefeated at the Ekaterinburg tournament Saturday.
Shameka Christon added 12 points, hitting four 3-pointers, and Asjha Jones had 11 points. Candace Parker didn't play after dislocating her left shoulder in the opening game on Friday. She won't play in the final game on Sunday.
"I thought there were stretches where we looked really, really good. But as is the case here, it is very difficult to play defensively against these teams because they're experienced," U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said. "They know each other so well, they move so well without the ball and there were times when we had a difficult time trying to find where they were."
Leading by three late in the first quarter, Christon hit back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the advantage to 22-15 at the end of the period.
The U.S. (2-0) led 28-21 midway through the second quarter when Renee Montgomery scored off a drive and Charles scored the Americans' next eight points in a 10-2 run that left the U.S. ahead 38-23 with 2:51 to play in the quarter.
"Tina [Charles] came off the bench and gave us a great start to the second half. It's been a team effort so far," Auriemma said. "We haven't had to rely on any one individual."
The Americans held a 40-32 lead at the half before taking control in the third quarter. Euroleasing Sopron (0-2) could get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Elena Milovanovic scored 25 points to lead Euroleasing Sopron (0-2).
The U.S. will face host UMMC Ekaterinburg (2-0) on Sunday.
"We're up against it a little bit tomorrow," said Auriemma of the final game. "Obviously they're the home team and they've been together for a long time. They have great talent at every position."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press