LONDON — Playing in front of a loud enthusiastic crowd, the U.S. Paralympic Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team trailed by more than 11 points in the fourth quarter, yet rallied to beat China 68-65 in the Group B preliminary match at the London 2012 Paralympic Games on Monday.
The defending gold medalists from the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games proved why they are such a great team.
“I feel pressure, but being able to settle that pressure," said Desi Miller (Monroe, Wash.). "I think that’s what separates good teams from great teams.”
Teammate Alana Nichols (Farmington, N.M.) reiterated the importance of staying calm. As she stood at the line with a chance to tie the game she said, “It was undeniable that we needed that point.
“I knew I needed to take a big deep breath, I was kind of shaking a little bit.”
The deep breath worked, when Nichols made the free throw to tie the game with 21.3 seconds left. Team USA rode the momentum from the fourth quarter where they outscored China 26-15 to seal the victory.
Rebecca Murray (Germantown, Wis.) led the U.S. team in scoring with 30 points followed by Miller with 18 and Rose Hollermann (Elysian, Minn.) with 10.
Team USA will return to the court on Sept. 4 for the quarterfinals.