Hollermann, Murray lead Team USA To Advance To Semifinal Vs. Great Britain

By National Wheelchair Basketball Association | Sept. 13, 2016, 9:44 p.m. (ET)

Becca Murray competes for the U.S. Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The duo of U.S. Paralympians Rose Hollerman of Elysian, Minnesota, and Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin, combined for 52 points pacing Team USA into the semifinals against Great Britain on Thursday, September 15.

The United States jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game, before Brazil scored on a layup. The U.S. kept the scoring strong through the rest of the quarter increasing its first quarter lead to 21-4, with Hollermann, a two-time Paralympian, contributing 10 points and three-time Murray, adding 7 points.

The second quarter brought up the defensive wall of Team USA that forced long shots and a several shot-clock violations, providing the United States to rely on the Hollermann and Murray shooting extravaganza, adding another combined 12 points. Murray leads the U.S. Team with 15 points, while Hollermann has scored 14 points.

“I think this is something that happens a lot with this team, where a couple of us score a lot,” said Hollermann. “We do a good job of swinging the ball and finding the hot player. We create a lot of movement in order to get the opening for the player who’s hot.”

The hot handed duo of Hollerman and Murray continued in the third as they put back 12 more points to double up Brazil, 46-23. The U.S. Women closed out the fourth in similar fashion. Gail Gaeng of Frederick, Maryland, and two-time U.S. Paralympian Desiree Miller of Monroe, Washington, each scored 7 points throughout the evening session. 

“There are some good things that we saw tonight that we have to build upon and fix in order to compete in the semifinal game against Great Britain,” said U.S. Women’s Head Coach Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois. “We will be watching video of Great Britain’s games in the quarterfinals and then taking that to the practice court tomorrow. We are going to work hard at practice to fix the things we missed on tonight.”

The United States will play Great Britain in the semifinals. The two powerhouse countries have only been matched up against each other a total of four times in the Paralympics Games, and the United States is a perfect 4-0. They last played in 2008.

The other semi-final game, schedule for Thursday, September 15, will see the defending Paralympic gold medalists Germany against the Netherlands.

The United States is now 41-22 overall in the Paralympic Games. The United States and Brazil have played a total of three times in the Paralympic Games (1996, 2008, 2016), and the United States holds a 3-0 record.

The United States finished the pool play tournament as the only undefeated team, 4-0, scoring the second most points in the pool with 288 (72 pts./game), and allowing the least against, 138 points (34.5 pts./game). 

The U.S. Women’s team finished fourth at the London 2012 Paralympics, after claiming the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.