USA Cruise Past Great Britain in Manchester

USA women were caught napping in the opening period but buckled down immediately to score a dominating 88-63 win over Great Britain in an exhibition match on Wednesday night in Manchester.

Great Britain started the game playing with a lot of sense of urgency, building a 21-10 lead in the opening period.

However, USA answered with a 21-0 run and halted several comeback attempts from the home team in the second half to score the win Great Britain Women, who impressed USA head coach Geno Auriemma.

“The good thing about them is they are all young and bring tremendous energy to the court,” Auriemma said. “This is their first time through and they just play with a lot of joy and fun and tremendous sense of urgency. They want to play and want to prove they belong on this team.”

Maya Moore had an all-around performance, finishing with 18 points and six rebounds to go with six assists, while Lindsay Whalen added 13 points and five assists for USA, who played without starting point guard Sue Bird.

Despite the blowout loss, Great Britain head coach Tom Maher was delighted with his squad after having a gallant stand against the gold-medal favorite in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.

“I'm delighted with our progress,” Maher said. “Four years ago we were rubbish. Now we can play and look respectable. We've learned a lot from when we played Australia, France. It's fantastic. You can see the learning. They've come so far and I couldn't be prouder.”

Jo Leedham led Great Britain with 21 points, while Stef Collins added 14 points.

The British women’s side will be playing in Group B of the Olympics along with Australia, Brazil, Russia, Canada, and France, while the Americans will compete in Group A where they will go up against Angola, China, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Turkey.

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