Team C-USA falls in China opener
Two more games on tour
The Commercial Appeal
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
DONGGUAN, China – The hastily assembled Team Conference USA lost its opener in China this morning (Memphis time), 87-80, to the Chinese National team.
University of Memphis forward Robert Dozier and Southern Miss guard Jeremy Wise each scored 13 points to lead Team C-USA, which has two more games during its week-long journey to the Far East. The Tigers’ Doneal Mack added 12 points, while UTEP center Claude Britten scored 10.
The Chinese benefited from a dramatic edge at the free-throw line, as the home team shot 25 of 39 from the line compared to Team C-USA's 12 of 18.
“There was a lot of body-to-body contact today,” Team C-USA coach John Calipari said in a press release. “Our foul trouble was mostly based on our conditioning as much as anything. We’ve only had three practices together, but I thought we played well, and I’m happy we were able to out-rebound them (43-40).
“We really enjoyed being a part of this charity event to support the earthquake victims, and it means a lot to our team, our university and our conference to be involved in this tour and to be able to help our Chinese friends in any way we can."
Memphis’ Shawn Taggart hauled down eight rebounds to go with his eight points, and Dozier grabbed seven boards.
“I’m proud to be part of this team, and I thought we played pretty well,” Wise said. “I didn’t expect any of this when I found out we were coming over here, and it’s just been an incredible experience. I’ve gotten to know all the guys and my coaches, and I feel like we’ve all come together really quickly.”
The two teams will meet in Game 2 of the three-game series on Friday in Yangjiang at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. CDT).