The U.S. women’s national team faces Olympic women’s basketball first-timers Angola on Monday during the second day of the preliminary round. Angola qualified for the Olympics by winning the 2011 FIBA Africa Championship.
Turkey topped Angola 72-50 on July 28 to open competition in Group A. Naciessela Mauricio led Angola’s team with 11 points in the loss. At the 2011 African Championship in Mali, Sonia Guadalupe was the leading scorer, averaging 11.0 points per game.
The U.S. is not underestimating Angola.
“They are a transition team. They like to run,” said U.S. assistant coach Jen Gillom. “They like to drive to the basket. They are not a great outside shooting team. I think you’re going to see a lot of run-and-gun tomorrow. We have a size advantage against them, especially inside. They have some undersized posts. They have really big guards, but they don’t post up and use their size advantage.”
The U.S. team had an intense practice Sunday and wants to make up for their slow start Saturday vs. Croatia.
“You definitely want to clean things up, especially after you watch film,” said Tina Charles, the team’s leading scorer in their first game. “You just want to clarify things and get after it so we limit turnovers, which we want to make sure we control the ball and everything.”
Angel McCoughtry agreed that the team had a bumpy beginning Saturday.
“It was a rough start yesterday,” said McCoughtry. “We were a little rusty. I don’t know if you would call it jitters; I don’t know what to call it. Today we came in and we adjusted things we need to work on. Those things are things we can easily fix. We will be better in the next game.”