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USA Sprints Past Mozambique for 124-49 Victory

Jumping out to a 36-10 lead at the end of the first period, the 2020 USA Basketball Women’s National Team (2-0, 16-1) controlled the game from start to finish in a 124-49 victory over Mozambique (0-2) at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Saturday night in Belgrade, Serbia.

The USA closes play against Nigeria (1-1) on Jan. 9. That contest will tip at 2 p.m. EST and will stream on ESPN+.
By halftime all 11 available U.S. athletes had scored, and at the end of the game the USA was led by 24 points and nine rebounds from Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks/Stanford). A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces/South Carolina) contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists; Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury/Baylor) had 16 points and nine rebounds; Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm/Notre Dame) added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists; Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm/Connecticut) also had 11 points; and Katie Lou Samuelson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut) contributed 10 points.

Additionally, Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks/Duke) tallied 12 of the USA’s 41 assists, while Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings/Notre Dame) dished out six.

“Big thanks to Mozambique for giving us a great, competitive game,” said Ogwumike. “I don’t think we ever walk in thinking that we’re the better team. I think we expect everyone’s best competition, which is what we got today with Mozambique. They never give up. They made us work on every play, offensively and defensively. I’m just really glad that we were able to come out with a good win, knowing that we got better from the other team.”

The USA won the opening tip, and Ogwumike scored the first five points in a 7-0 opening run that also featured a pair of assists.

“The first two plays Nneka made were examples of what we wanted to do,” said USA co-coach Dan Hughes (Seattle Storm). “The ball moved. There are a lot of assists on the stat sheet, and it went to different natural spots. We moved the ball extremely well, defended and played the game in a way that we want to get something from every time we’re together, and I thought we got something out of today.”

The first quarter saw the USA shoot 68.2% percent (15-22 FGs), including nine points from Ogwumike and seven points from Stewart, and the USA led 36-10 with 14 assists after 10 minutes.

“We were running our lanes wide, our spacing was good and I felt like we were playing off of each other really well,” said Gray of the team’s ball distribution. “We can control us, play our way and play to our standard every time we step on the court. That’s what we did tonight, and it showed. We had a lot of assists all the way around. It was a great game for us in that way, as well as for our chemistry.”

For more information on the USA Women’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.usab.com/

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No. 21/22 Creighton Pulls Away from St. John’s, 94-82

The St. John’s men’s basketball recorded its highest scoring total of BIG EAST play on Saturday evening, but it was no match for the offensive onslaught of Creighton, as the No. 21/22 Bluejays pulled away for a 94-82 victory at CHI Health Center Omaha.

The Red Storm (13-11, 2-9 BIG EAST) pulled within two points on a pair of occasions near the midway mark of the second half before the Bluejays (18-6, 7-4 BIG EAST) outscored the Johnnies down the stretch, 32-22. On the game, Creighton shot 60.3 percent (35-of-58) from the floor, including a 13-for-28 effort from three-point range. The Bluejays’ 94 points were the highest single-game total recorded by a St. John’s opponent this season.

Marcellus Earlington registered the best offensive outing of his St. John’s tenure, scoring a career-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including a 3-for-4 showing from beyond the arc. The sophomore from Stony Point, N.Y., also pulled down a career-best 10 boards for his first collegiate double-double. Coming into the contest, Earlington had made just three triples all season long.

Two other Johnnies reached double figures in the scoring column, as LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron finished with 12 points apiece. The pair combined to go 5-of-9 from three-point range.

Freshman Julian Champagnie narrowly missed his second double-double in as many tries, posting nine points and eight rebounds.

The Red Storm outrebounded an opponent for the first time during BIG EAST play, grabbing 41 boards to the Bluejays’ 31.

The Johnnies, who ranked fourth nationally in steals entering the game at 10.4 per contest, managed just one theft against the Bluejays. St. John’s had recorded fewer than five just once this season, tallying four against Arizona State in late November.

The Bluejays came out of the gate firing, hitting seven of their first 10 field goal tries, including four of their first six tries from three, to take an 18-8 lead with just under six minutes gone in the game.

Trailing by double digits early, the Red Storm slowly chipped into the Creighton advantage, pulling within two, 28-26, on a Nick Rutherford jumper with nine minutes to go in the opening half.

The two teams traded buckets over the next several minutes before a 7-0 Creighton run bumped the Bluejays’ lead back to 10, 43-33, at the final media timeout of the period. St. John’s then scored back-to-back buckets to make it a six-point game before Creighton closed the half with consecutive makes of their own, taking a 47-37 lead into the intermission.

The Red Storm started the second half strong, using a pair of Earlington threes to quickly pull within four before a Heron triple moved the Johnnies within two, 59-57, with 13 minutes to play.

Trailing by two, 62-60, after Earlington’s third 3-ball of the half, Creighton uncapped a 13-4 run to move back ahead by double digits, 75-64, following a pair of Ty-Shon Alexander free throws with eight and half minutes to play.

A 3-for-3 trip to the line from Heron brought the Red Storm back within eight, 78-70, with six and a half minutes to go, but Creighton responded with an 11-2 run to put the game out of reach.

The Red Storm will play each of its next two games at home, welcoming Providence to Carnesecca Arena on Wednesday night before playing host to Xavier on Feb. 17 at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for both games are available by visiting RedStormTix.com or calling the St. John’s Ticket Office at 1-888-GO-STORM.

Quotes:

St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson

 

Opening statement…

 

“I thought the three point line was the difference and that’s what [Creighton] does. They had some momentum shots. We cut the lead to two on two occasions. … We scored twos, they scored threes and that shows you the explosiveness of their basketball team. … I’m proud of our guys’ effort. I thought our guys fought, just didn’t have enough in the tank when it was all set and done.”

 

On the team’s turnovers…

 

“To me, it wasn’t about the turnovers. They took care of the basketball. I thought our pressure wasn’t to necessarily steal the basketball. When we did get into it I thought we were disruptive. They take care of the basketball. I thought we didn’t do a really good job of keeping the ball in front of us. The defense has to be much, much better.”

 

On if the team used the press less this game…

 

“We mixed it up. It isn’t about the press, I don’t think people get that. I thought when we went into it, we were disruptive.”

 

On Marcellus Earlington’s three-point shooting…

 

“He’s a guy that works on it. … If you watch our team through the course of the year, we’re getting more guys that are starting to really get more confident in their roles with what they’re bringing to the table. I just want to see us put it all together on one night.”

On the team’s effort…

“We played competitive, we were right there. … I thought we came out in the second half and we scored, they scored, it went back and forth. Then we caught up with 12 minutes to go and it’s a two-point game. Then with 11 minutes to go, it was a two-point game. That’s when to me, our defense really had to dig in and start going.”

 

On LJ Figueroa…

 

“They paid a lot of attention to him. That allowed other guys to have pretty decent games. He’s the target. Coming into this year, he’s on the top of the scouting report and it probably did get frustrating.”

For more information on the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://redstormsports.com/

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St. John’s Heads to No. 21/22 Creighton for Saturday Showdown

Looking to pick up its second straight road win, the St. John’s men’s basketball team will take on No. 21/22 Creighton on Saturday in Omaha.

Tip-off at CHI Health Center Omaha is set for 6 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network and 570 AM WMCA. Rich Waltz and Dan Dickau will call the action on television while John Minko and Vin Parise will narrate the Red Storm Sports Network broadcast from Learfield IMG College, which can also be found on TuneIn and Sirius XM.

The Red Storm (13-10, 2-8 BIG EAST) aims to pick up its fourth Quad One win and second ranked victory of the season when its takes on the No. 21/22 Bluejays (17-6, 6-4 BIG EAST). The Johnnies checked in at no. 72 in Friday morning’s release of the NET, the lowest mark of any team in a competitively balanced BIG EAST. Creighton, who sits at no. 21 in both the NET and the Associated Press Top 25, is one of five BIG EAST squads in the top 23 and one of eight in the top 55 of the latest NET rankings.

The Johnnies own two victories over teams currently ranked in the top 10 of the NET, as Arizona sits at no. 8 and West Virginia is right behind the Wildcats at no. 9. St. John’s took down Arizona on Dec. 21 in San Francisco, two weeks after handing the Mountaineers their first loss of the season at Madison Square Garden.

The Red Storm will look to right the ship after dropping consecutive contests at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” to then-No. 8 Villanova and Georgetown. Rasheem Dunn led the way for St. John’s during those games, pouring in a season-high 24 points against the Wildcats before posting a team-high 16 points against the Hoyas. Against Villanova, the Brooklyn native connected on 10 of his 16 attempts from the floor, including a 3-for-5 showing from three-point range. The redshirt junior guard also dished out four assists and surrendered only one turnover in that first outing. On the season, Dunn has reached double figures in 16 of his 20 appearances and currently ranks third on the team with 12.8 points per game while leading the squad with 3.2 assists per outing.

Senior guard Mustapha Heron also tallied 16 points against Georgetown in the team’s most recent contest, connecting on four triples and going a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Over his last five games, the Waterbury, Conn., native is averaging 15.0 points per outing and shooting 42.9 percent (15-of-35) from beyond the arc. He is also a perfect 14-of-14 from the charity stripe during that stretch and ranks second in the league with a 91.3 percent conversion rate from the line during BIG EAST play.

The team’s leading scorer at 14.8 points per game this season, LJ Figueroa will look to replicate the scoring touch he showed in the Red Storm’s last road contest. Against DePaul on Jan. 25 in Chicago, the junior wing connected on seven of his 12 tries from beyond the arc, finishing with a career-high 28 points and falling one triple shy of the program’s single-game record in that category set by Avery Patterson in 2006. Figueroa’s became the seventh player in St. John’s history to hit seven or more threes in a game and the first since Shamorie Ponds did so against Fordham on Dec. 8, 2016.

Making his first appearance in the starting lineup since Jan. 8, Julian Champagnie posted his second collegiate double-double on Sunday against Georgetown. The freshman tallied 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and collected 10 boards. On the season, the Brooklyn native leads the team in rebounding at 6.2 caroms per game, good enough for ninth in the BIG EAST overall and second among the league’s freshmen behind Jeremiah Robinson-Earl of Villanova.

Creighton welcomes the Red Storm on the heels of a road loss to Providence on Wednesday night. The Bluejays held a 36-32 halftime lead before the Friars torched the nets in the latter stanza, connecting on eight of their 10 second-half chances from beyond the arc en route to a 73-56 victory. Creighton’s 56 points marked the team’s second lowest total of the season behind a 52-point showing against undefeated San Diego State on Nov. 28 in Las Vegas.

The Bluejays feature two of the league’s top scorers in Ty-Shon Alexander (16.4 ppg) and Marcus Zegarowski (15.6 ppg). The high-scoring backcourt tandem paces one of the nation’s most dangerous offenses, as Creighton ranks second in the BIG EAST and 35th nationally in the three-point field goal percentage at 36.8 percent.

The Bluejays’ top deep threat is neither of their two leading scorers, as junior guard Mitch Ballock leads the team and ranks 10th nationally hitting 45.0 percent of his three-point tries. The Eurdora, Kan., native has connected on 72 triples in just 23 appearances and averages 13.0 points per game.

St. John’s and Creighton will meet for the first time since the Johnnies swept the Bluejays during the 2018-19 regular seasons. The Red Storm took both of those contests in convincing fashion, topping Creighton by 15 in Queens on Jan. 16 before capturing its first ever win in Omaha, 83-67, two weeks later. In that second game, Heron and Figueroa combined for 32 points on 14 of 23 shooting while Ponds nearly recorded a triple-double with 26 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.

After their game in Omaha, the Johnnies will return home for two contests, hosting Providence at Carnesecca Arena on Feb. 12 before welcoming Xavier to Madison Square Garden on Feb. 17. Tickets for both those games are available by visiting RedStormTix.com or calling the ticket office at 1-888-GO-STORM.

For more information on the St. John’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://redstormsports.com/

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USA Nike Hoop Summit Roster Announced

The USA roster for the 2020 Nike Hoop Summit will feature seven gold medalists, including three with three gold medals and two with two gold medals, for the 2020 Nike Hoop Summit that will take place on Friday, April 10 at 10 p.m. ET at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.

The Nike Hoop Summit is an annual basketball game that pits top U.S. high school senior boys against a World Select Team comprised of elite international players who are 19 years old or younger.

Suiting up for USA Basketball will be Scottie Barnes (Montverde Academy/West Palm Beach, Fla.); Joshua Christopher (Mayfair H.S./Lakewood, Calif.); Cade Cunningham (Montverde Academy, FL/Arlington, Texas); Jalen Green (Prolific Prep/Fresno, Calif.); Walker Kessler (Woodward Academy/Newnan, Ga.); Caleb Love (Christian Brothers College H.S./ St. Louis, Mo.); Adam Miller (Morgan Park H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian H.S./Temecula, Calif.); Jeremy Roach (Paul VI Catholic H.S./Leesburg, Va.); Day’Ron Sharpe (Montverde Academy, FL/Greenville, N.C.); Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.); and Ziaire Williams (Sierra Canyon School/Sherman Oaks, Calif.).

Three gold-medal winning coaches will lead the 2020 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team, headed by Sharman White (Pace Academy, Ga.) with assistants Scott Fitch (Fairport H.S., N.Y.) and Stan Waterman (Sanford School, Del.).
Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com or the Rose Quarter Box Office. Courtside seats are available for $60, and lower bowl seating starts at $10. Applicable service charges apply.

“I feel that this is a very strong roster,” White said. “This group of players is filled with talent and young men who love playing the game. I believe one of our strengths is versatility. We have a lot of guys that can play multiple positions. And, we have depth at key positions. This group also boasts a lot of proven winners. They have either won with USA Basketball, or they have won at their high schools or in summer basketball.”

For more information on the USA Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.usab.com/

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USA Women’s National Team to Train in Chicago, Take Part in NBA All-Star Weekend

A total of 15 athletes are slated to participate in a USA Women’s National Team three-day minicamp Feb. 14-16 in Chicago and participate in a variety of off-court activities during the NBA All-Star Weekend, including a USA open practice that follows the NBA All-Star Teams’ practices at Wintrust Arena on Feb. 15.

Included on the roster are 14 previously-named members of the USA National Team pool, including Sue Bird (Seattle Storm/Connecticut); Jordin Canada (Seattle Storm/UCLA); Layshia Clarendon (Connecticut Sun/California); Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx/Connecticut); Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings/Notre Dame); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut); Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx/Louisiana State); Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks/Duke); Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces/Notre Dame); Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks/Stanford); Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Washington); Katie Lou Samuelson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury/Connecticut); and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces/South Carolina).

Additionally, Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics/Texas), who joined the USA in Serbia for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, has officially been added to the USA National Team Pool and also will participate in the Chicago minicamp.

On Friday, Feb. 14, the USA will conduct a closed practice at Roosevelt University from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (all times CST), and team members will spend the afternoon making various appearances. Gray and Wilson will take part in the Special Olympics Unified Game (4 p.m.), and the duo will take part in the NBA Celebrity Game (6 p.m.)

On Saturday, Feb. 15, the USA team will arrive at Wintrust Arena in time to watch some of the All-Star practices. The U.S. will then hold an open practice at Wintrust Arena from 2-3:30 p.m. The practice will include team scrimmages and interactions with fans. Later that night the team will attend the All-Star Saturday Night festivities.
The USA squad will cap the weekend on Sunday, Feb. 16, with a 10 a.m.-12 p.m. closed practice at DePaul University before heading to the United Center for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.

https://www.usab.com/

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Rosters Unveiled for 2020 USA Basketball Men’s & Women’s 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Team Training Camps

USA Basketball released rosters for the training camps from which the 2020 USA Basketball Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Teams will be determined, and 11 women will take part Feb. 12-13, while 16 men will train Feb. 13-14 at the Pullman Community Center in Chicago, Illinois.

From that pool of athletes, the USA Basketball 3×3 player selection committees will name four men and four women to represent USA Basketball at the 2020 FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament March 18-22 in Bengaluru, India. The top three finishing men’s and women’s 3×3 teams will earn berths into the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games 3×3 basketball competition. As per FIBA regulations, all teams taking part in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament must include at least two athletes who are ranked among the federation’s top 10 FIBA 3×3 athletes.

“This is an extremely exciting time for USA Basketball as we prepare for the first-ever 3×3 Olympic Qualification Tournament. This training camp is the next step towards earning a berth into the Olympic Games, so it is incredibly important,” said Jim Tooley , USA Basketball CEO. “Many of our country’s top available 3×3 players will be participating, and USA Basketball will be looking to select the best USA 3×3 teams possible for the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. We know it will be a very competitive training camp, and the selection committee will have a difficult challenge to narrow down the rosters.”

Taking part in the women’s training camp will be: Cierra Burdick (University of Tennessee ‘2015/Charlotte, N.C.); Layshia Clarendon (Connecticut Sun/San Bernadino, Calif.); Natasha Cloud (Washington Mystics/Broomall, Pa.); Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx/O’Fallon, Mo.); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Port Jervis, N.Y.); Kelly Faris (University of Connecticut ‘2013/Plainfield, Ind.); Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings/Sandersville, Ga.); Linnae Harper (Chicago Sky/Chicago, Ill.); Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Poway, Calif.); Katie Lou Samuelson (Chicago Sky/Huntington Beach, Calif.); Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces/Princeton, Ind.).

The USA women earned their spot in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament by virtue of their status on the FIBA 3×3 world rankings.

Participating in the men’s training camp will be: Canyon Barry (Iowa Wolves/Colorado Springs, Colo.); Kidani Brutus (Manhattan College ‘2012/Bronx, N.Y.); Pawel Buczak (Princeton University ‘2010/Moorestown, N.J.); Zahir Carrington (Lehigh University ‘2010/Philadelphia, Pa.); Marcel Esonwune (York College ‘2011/Queens, N.Y.); Damon Huffman (Brown University ‘2008/Petoskey, Mich.); Robbie Hummel (Purdue University ‘2012/Valparaiso, Ind.); Domonique Jones (Fort Hays State University ‘2011/Harlem, N.Y.); Joey King (University of Minnesota ‘2016/Eagan, Minn.); Kareem Maddox (Princeton University ‘2011/Los Angeles, Calif.); Dan Mavraides (Princeton University ‘2011/Los Angeles, Calif.); Craig Moore (Northwestern University ‘2009/Doylestown, Pa.); Antoinne Morgano (New Jersey City University ‘2005/Newark, N.J.); Michael Poole Jr. (Rutgers University ‘2014/New York, N.Y.); Dave Seagers (Dowling College ‘2010/Bronx, N.Y.); and Dylan Travis (Florida Southern College ‘2016/Omaha, Neb.).

For more information on the USA Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.usab.com/

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Mets Name Brian Schneider Quality Control Coach

The New York Mets announced that the club has named Brian Schneider to the role of quality control coach. Schneider will serve on the club’s major league field staff as a conduit between the front office, coaching staff and players on issues including game preparation, strategy and analytics. Additionally, Schneider will oversee catching instruction.

“Brian is a welcome addition to our coaching staff,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “He has been in a major league uniform as a player and as a coach for the better part of the last two decades and his insight will be a valuable tool as he communicates ideas between our front office, myself, his fellow coaches and our players.”

Schneider, 43, was previously slated to manage the Syracuse (AAA) Mets in his first year in the organization. He spent the last four seasons as the Miami Marlins’ catching coach. He played 13 seasons as a player from 2000-2012 with Montreal/Washington (2000-2007), the Mets (2008-2009) and Philadelphia (2010-2012). Following his playing career, he served as the manager for the Marlins’ Single-A affiliate in Jupiter for two seasons, compiling a 117-160 record.

Mets first base coach Tony DeFrancesco will assume outfield coaching duties, which fell under the Mets’ quality coach responsibilities last season, in addition to his current role, which also includes baserunning instruction.

“Tony’s versatility is a tremendous asset to our club,” Rojas said. “His 25 years of experience as a minor league manager gives us confidence that he will be able to take on his additional responsibilities coaching our outfielders without missing a beat.”

https://www.mlb.com/mets