Monday, October 24, 2011

Warley, U.S. finish 7th at Pan Am Games

Can we start the Pan Am Games women's basketball tournament over?

Good luck with that, of course. But that's a shame for Team USA. Because after showing up in Mexico with less than a week of practice and struggling early, the Americans finished play looking like a team finally ready to deal.

On Monday, the U.S. throttled Jamaica 87-41 in the 7th-place game, less than 24 hours after dismantling Mexico 87-58. That's two victories by a combined 75 points - the kind of blowouts we've become accustomed to seeing Team USA squad engineer.

The problem was, it took a while for a group of players thrown together in the middle of their college preseasons to come together. The U.S. opened with narrow losses to Argentina and Puerto Rico, setbacks that cost the team a chance to play for a medal.

Seventh place would normally be unacceptable for a United States squad, particularly in an eight-team tournament. But we can accept what went down in Guadalajara - especially after the team closed by showing what it was truly capable of.

Liberty's Avery Warley had her best game of the tournament against Jamaica, contributing 6 points and 10 rebounds (tied for the team high) in 17 minutes. Hofstra's Shante Evans continued her strong inside play and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

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