Brittney Griner scores 22 in loss
VALENCIA, Spain -- Brittney Griner scored 16 of her 22 points in the second half in the United States' 80-76 loss to Ros Casares Valencia on Wednesday night.
Renee Montgomery and Sophia Young each added 12 points for the U.S.
Ros Casares jumped out to a 31-19 lead behind Ann Wauters, who finished with 22 points. The Americans cut the deficit to 41-39 at the half.
Cappie Pondexter tied the game at 41 early in the second half before Ros Casares went on a 14-0 run to take control of the game.
"The way we started the game, we put ourselves in a hole," U.S. national coach Geno Auriemma said. "We were climbing uphill right from the beginning because of some questionable shot selection on our part and a couple mistakes we made defensively. And, they're a really, really good team playing on their home floor."
Griner tried to rally her team, scoring on a variety of post moves. Trailing 77-65 with 3:05 left, Griner scored six of the next eight points to make it a four-point game with 38 seconds left.
After Ros Casares hit one of two free throws, Montgomery drove the lane and missed a lay-up. As she came down, she inadvertently collided with an official who gave her a technical foul. Wauters hit both free throws to seal the win.
"Brittney, offensively, was really, really good again," Auriemma said. "She's been really good every game. Defensively, playing against somebody like Ann Wauters is not easy. It's not easy for an experienced pro, much less a kid who's never played international basketball before. I think she learned a lot, because she saw something in guarding Ann Wauters that she hasn't seen in two years of guarding anybody in college."
Ros Casares is one of the top teams in the EuroLeague, reaching the Final Four last season. The Americans beat Ros Casares by 10 on Saturday in the finals of a tournament in Italy.
The U.S. will next face 2011 Czech league champion ZVVZ-USK Prague in the Czech Republic on Saturday and close out the tour in Hungary against Hungarian Cup and Hungarian Championship winners UNIQA-Euroleasing Sopron on Sunday.
The Americans only have six players from the 26-person national team pool available for this tour. They added Young and Danielle Robinson to get the roster up to eight. Robinson won't play in the final two games as she's has to leave for her European club team.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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