PARIS (AP) Breanna Stewart scored nine points to lead a balanced offense and the U.S. women’s national team beat Australia 72-66 in an exhibition game Friday.
Maya Moore and Nneka Ogwumike each added seven points for the Americans.
The U.S. trailed 18-11 after the first quarter before rallying to take a one-point lead at the half. The Americans extended that advantage to 11 after the third quarter before holding on.
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”It was very competitive,” Stewart said. ”Obviously coming in we knew they were a really good team and they were going to give us a good fight. I think that after we went through our subs and picked the tempo up, we kind of got away from them a little bit.”
Belinda Snell scored 13 points to lead Australia while Liz Cambage added nine points and nine rebounds in nine minutes.
”We’re kind of in a little bit of a quandary,” USA coach Geno Auriemma said. ”We obviously want to win the game, which is priority No. 1. But it’s a little unusual that priority No. 1-A is trying to get 15 players somewhat significant playing time.
”So there’s no offensive flow, it’s tough on defense and we looked like it at times. But we’re trying to put our team together. We’re trying to find the right combination for everybody, and it’s important that we do that. I don’t want to sacrifice the game to do that, I’m glad we won, but I think you could see some things that we were doing that looked really, really good and some things that obviously we have to work on.”
The Americans are still trying to figure out their roster for the world championship which begins on Sept. 27. They have 15 players in camp with the possible addition of Brittney Griner, who is still waiting for clearance from her doctors to play after suffering a retinal injury in the WNBA Finals.