July 9, 1998
CETNIEWO, Poland – Notre Dame sophomore center RUTH RILEY (Macy, Ind.) scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds despite being in foul trouble most of the game as the USA Women’s Basketball Team dropped a 72-71 decision to Poland’s National Team. It was the first loss suffered by the U.S. squad who had won it first three previous outing against Puerto Rico in a three-game tournament in Carolina Puerto Rico.
University of Virginia DeMya Walker collected 17 points and two rebounds to lead the U.S., while Stacey Thomas (University of Michigan) tallied 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made three steals.
“It was a hard fought game until the end,” USA Select Team head coach Carol Ross said. “We made some critical mistakes down the stretch which defined the outcome of the game. When you are in a close ball game, you have to step up and play smart consistently. We didn’t play great all the time and ended up in some foul trouble. We look forward to playing Poland again tomorrow.”
The U.S. squad kept the game close in the first half despite falling behind by as many as 11 points in the early minutes of the game. The U.S. fought back to cut the gap to give points, 38-33, at the half. With 9:48 remaining, the U.S. trailed by five points, 55-50, and a three-pointer by Washington’s Jamie Redd cut the deficit to two (55-53) with 8:41 remaining in the contest.
Walker gave the U.S. squad its first lead of the game (61-60) with 5:54 remaining in the contest and then built a three-point margin with 2:39 left. Heading into the final minute of play. the U.S. held a 71-70 advantage, but was then whistled for a foul in the closing seconds and Poland earned the one-point decision with two free throws.
The USA Select Team will play this same Polish National Team on July 9 before heading to Spain for a three-game series against the Spanish Select Team July 12-14.
USA Player-By-Player (Scoring-Rebounding-Assists)
DeMya Walker (Virginia) — 17 points, 2 rebounds
Ruth Riley (Notre Dame) — 8 points, 4 rebounds
Stacey Thomas (Michigan) — 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals
Ukari Figgs (Purdue) — 8 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
Jackie Stiles (Southwest Missouri State) –4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
Katie Douglas (Purdue) — DNP
Tynesha Lewis (North Carolina State) — DNP
Jamie Redd (Washington) — 10 points, 5 rebounds
Brooke Wyckoff (Florida State) — 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Andrea Garner (Penn State) — 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Laura Meadows (Kentucky) — DNP
Michele VanGorp (Duke) — 1 rebound