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Moore and Whalen help US over Britain

MANCHESTER, England -- With the first team struggling, Geno Auriemma went to his reserves to turn the game around.

Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen sparked a 21-0 run to help the U.S. women's basketball team beat Britain 88-63 on Wednesday night in an exhibition game. Moore scored 18 points and Whalen added 13.

The Americans trailed by 11 points in the first 7 minutes before the second unit took over.

"The good thing about them is they are all young and bring tremendous energy to the court," Auriemma said. "This is their first time through and they just play with a lot of joy and fun and tremendous sense of urgency. They want to play and want to prove they belong on this team."

Moore and Whalen along with Angel McCoughtry all will be playing in their first Olympic games which begin on July 28. They just want to continue the success the Americans have had.

"They are like the Energizer bunnies," captain Tamika Catchings said.

The U.S. was still without Sue Bird, who left the team after the death of her stepfather Dennis this past weekend. She practiced on Saturday and Sunday, but missed the exhibition game on Monday against Brazil to be with her family. Auriemma said he thinks Bird will rejoin the team this weekend when they travel to Istanbul for the next leg of their pre-Olympic training tour.

"It's definitely not an excuse, but having Sue makes a difference," Catchings said. "Diana Taurasi did a good job playing the point, but she's more comfortable at the 2 or 3."

The Americans will play Turkey and Croatia in exhibition games before heading to London on July 25. The U.S. has won four straight Olympic gold medals.

While the U.S. has dominated Olympics play, Britain is a newcomer playing in its first games. The coach is no stranger to the Games, as Tom Maher has led four different countries to the Olympics. He guided Australia to the bronze medal in 1996 and silver in 2000. He then took New Zealand (2004) and China (2008) to the Games.

Maher is proud of the great strides Britain's made over the past four years.