FIBA U19 World Cup Update
Payton Verhulst and the US U19 Women's Basketball team played their first game in Debrecen Hungary yesterday afternoon, and absolutely pasted Italy, 96-37.
With a lopsided score like that, you would expect playing time to be spread liberally around the team, and that certainly was the case, here. Verhulst started the game, and played the most time of anyone on the roster, but tallied less than 23 minutes on the court.
Everyone on the US roster got on the court, and everyone put the rock in the hole at least once. Five players were in double figures.
Payton scored six, made up of a pair of field goals and a pair of free throws. Add in five rebounds and an assist, and it was a decent outing for the incoming freshman.
The US is in group play with Egypt, Australia, and obviously Italy. As much as the US put it to Italy yesterday, Australia, perennially a strong contender in women's basketball, beat down Egypt even worse, more than tripling them up, 99-28.
Today's games match up US against the Aussies at 2pm EDT, while Italy and Egypt will be looking for their first win against each other. All of the FIBA U19 World Cup games are available on Youtube on the FIBA Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/FIBA.
A Trio of Olympic Women's Golds
As the Olympics wind down, the Cardinal Couple Crew have mostly enjoyed watching and cheering. Daryl and Jared are the real Olympics enthusiasts, but all of us have paid attention and followed various sports the pique our own individual interests.
Three women's teams reached the pinnacle yesterday or early this morning.
Post play was the deciding factor as Brittany Griner, A'ja Wilson, and Breanna Stewart combined for 63 of the US's 90 points in the game, while holding the Japanese hosts to 75.
At the risk of reinforcing stereotypes, the tallest player on Japan's Olympic roster is 6'1" (Maki Takada, and Himawari Akaho), so they struggled with Stewie's 6'4", Wilson's 6'5", and Griner's 6'9" stature. Wilson got five blocks, and three for Stewart and Griner. Meanwhile, Breanna pulled down a whopping 14 rebounds. Credit goes to Diana Taurasi for eight assists, with Stewart and Wilson taking advantage of the defense collapsing on them with five assists each.
The USA Women's Volleyball team swept a traditionally very good Brazilian team 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 to win the gold. This is the first gold for USA Volleyball in the Olympics, though the program had won three silver and two bronze medals.
First serve in the match was at 12:30am EDT, and I didn't stay up to watch it, so I'm hoping to catch a replay of it today, perhaps. Box scores also seem to be unobtainable.
A sport that rarely makes the Cardinal Couple pages, but the USA Water Polo team also won gold in a solid win over Spain in Water Polo. Introduced on the women's side for the 2000 Olympics, the USA Water Polo squad has never failed to medal, including golds in 2016, and 2012.
Ashleigh Johnson gets much of the credit in this one. The first African American women on a USA Women's Water Polo squad, she blocked 73% of Spain's shots on goal, compared to 19% blocked by the main Spanish goal-keeper.
The US offense kept up a relentless attack, at the other end of the pool, leading the team to a 14-5 victory to continue to the US dynasty in women's water polo.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
A full house on the CCRHP this week, and a full agenda. We covered basketball, field hockey, the excitement of having actual events on the schedule for the week, the Kaplan NCAA gender equity report, and more.
It was a great show and is available both on Youtube and your favorite podcast service.