USA Women Fall to Turkey in WDBC

USA's Nukeitra Hayes fights off Turkey's Esin Bilgili for a layup during USA's preliminary-round loss to Turkey (Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)

Turkey 65 
USA 61

LUBLIN, POLAND—While USA Women’s Deaf National Team managed to come on top of nearly every statistical category against Turkey, the Americans struggled the entire game to find an answer to Turkey’s quickness. It was the hustle of the Turkish squad during the decisive fourth quarter that propelled them to an exciting win over United States.

The Turkish defense can only look on as USA's Cassidy Perry goes for a baseline reverse
(Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)

Turkey held an eight-point lead over the Americans at halftime, and a barrage of threes in the third quarter extended The Turks' lead to thirteen points at one point as the Americans struggled to find their offensive flair. After three quarters, Turkey held a comfortable lead, but would need to every bucket in order to hang on in the fourth quarter as the Americans finally found their legs and fought back into the game.

Head Coach Deb Ayres experimented with different lineups throughout the game to compensate for the Turks’ speed.  In fourth quarter, our lineup of Cheyenne Talbot, Zamica Gage, Christine Smith, Cassidy Perry and Hannah Neild seemed to find some rhythm and were able to stem Turkey’s offense spurts with their energy and defense.  This combination turned the momentum of the game into the Americans' favor as they outscored the Turks 25 to 16 during the final quarter. 

USA huddles around head coach Deb Ayres to make adjustments during a timeout
(Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)

However, this valiant comeback attempt would fall short as the Americans struggled mightily from the charity stripe, shooting 11-25 on free throws. A few costly errors down the stretch vaporized any chances at a comeback. Turkey scored 64 to USA’s 61 and captured their first ever win over the United States squad to remain undefeated in pool play.

USA's Hannah Neild leaps for a contested bucket early in the game
(Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)

Turkey's Ecrin Kose led all scorers with 28 points, with 20 coming in the
second half. USA's Hannah Neild led the team with 23 points, followed by
Nukeitra Hayes’ 20 and Cassidy Perry added 20 rebounds for USA (2-1)

USA faces Greece at 8 pm Monday evening in their final round robin game before the quarterfinals.

USA and Turkey poses for a photo after the game
(Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)
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