Aug. 22, 2003
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Foreign Tour Central
GYEONGJU, South Korea - The USA dropped to 1-1 in preliminary-round action at the World University Games with an 81-64 loss to Italy Friday afternoon.
Tera Bjorklund (Colorado) tallied her first points of the Games with a layup to start off Team USA's scoring against Italy, but 17 first-half turnovers helped the Italians gain a lead they would never relinquish.
"Italy is a very talented and experienced team," head coach Bill Fennelly (Iowa State) said. "They took advantage of our mistakes. They shot the ball extremely well and made it tough for us to make a run at them."
Team USA fell behind early, facing a 23-10 deficit after the first period. The Americans turned the ball over eight times, while Italy sank three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter to widen the gap.
The Americans hit 70 percent from the floor and outscored Italy 19-18 in the second period, but trailed 41-29 at the half. Erin Grant (Texas Tech) scored six of her 10 points in the second quarter, adding two assists and two steals.
Evan Unrau (Missouri) opened the second half with a 3-pointer and Bjorklund followed with a layup, but Italy went on a 13-3 run and kept their offense humming. The Italians missed just one shot in the third quarter and hit 8-of-10 free throws to take a 66-44 advantage into the final period.
The teams traded shots to start the fourth quarter, with Heather Schreiber (Texas) scoring 10 consecutive points for the USA. Schreiber, who had 22 points in Thursday's opening game, scored 12 of Team USA's 20 fourth-quarter points to finish with a team-high 21 points. Italy, which owned its largest lead (72-47) with 8:48 left in the game, was outscored 20-15 by the USA in the final period.
"I'm proud to see us finish the game strong and outscore them," Fennelly said. "Again today, Heather Schreiber was great offensively and our go-to kid throughout the game."
Team USA shot 45.1 percent for the game, sinking just 2-of-12 3-pointers (16.7 percent). The Americans outrebounded Italy 26-18, but had 25 turnovers in the game. Italy got double-figure scoring from four players and shot 61.7 percent from the floor.
USA faces Thailand at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yeungnam High School in Daegu to finish off pool play.