WINS GOLD - Defeat China 87-69
Klimesova Totals 19 rebounds and nine points to help lead the Czech
Repbulic to a bronze medal
World University Games Schedule
August 31, 2001
- The USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team (7-1) triumphed
over China (6-2) Friday night for the third time in two weeks to earn
the gold medal. After a close first quarter, the USA held the lead
and kept control of the game, eventually sailing in for the 87-69
win. The squad was led by Shereka Wright's (Purdue / Copperas Cove,
Texas) 22 points and nine rebounds and 1999 World University Games
veteran Ayana Walker's (Louisiana Tech / Houston, Texas) double-double
points and 19 rebounds. Chantelle Anderson totaled seven points
and three rebounds while Ashley McElhiney numbered an assist.
really describe it right now. I don't think I've really realized what
has happened yet. But, this is a good way to go home, McElhiney said.
feels great," Anderson said. "There's nothing better than
putting together a team from a whole bunch of players and coaches
who don't really know each other. But you go through a lot together
24 hours a day for three weeks and it ends up all successful. There's
nothing better than that." Anderson concluded
"To finish like this with a national team and to come back the
way we did after losing to Canada and to keep the team focused and
actually win in front of 18,000 people in China was just an amazing
feat because I thought the China team was a very, very good team,"
said USA and University of Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan. "Having
to beat them three times in a row was very difficult in two weeks.
I was very proud of my players. I think we had great karma on this
team. We had very hard-working players and from top to bottom we were
very focused and ready to play and Im just really proud
to be a part of it."
"I'm just so excited for the team and everyone because we worked
so hard," said team captain Kara Lawson (Tennessee / Alexandria,
Va.). "To beat a great team like China three times is a huge
accomplishment. I'm just really proud of this team."
The USA went on top 5-0 in the first minute of the game. China found
their offense and tied the game at 7-7 with 5:45 to play in the first
period before going on their own 5-0 scoring run to put the score
at 12-7. Wright responded with six points for the USA while China
added two free throws to edge the Americans 14-13 at the 3:20 mark.
Walker tallied nine points in the USA's next four possessions as the
USA women went up 25-21 at the end of the first quarter.
China opened the second quarter with four points, closing the USAs
lead to 25-24, but that is as close as they would come. Clemson's
Chrissy Floyd (Laurens, S.C.) added two points and then passed off
a steal by Caton Hill (Oklahoma / Ada, Okla.) to Chantelle Anderson
(Vanderbilt / Vancouver, Wash.) for two more points and a free throw
which put the USA team ahead 30-24. China stayed in the game by making
14 of 16 free throw attempts in the first half. The second period
ended with the USA again ahead by four, 45-41.
In the third quarter, the Americans expanded their lead, going up
by as many as nine points three times, while the fourth quarter saw
the USA lead grow from five to 13 points in less than two minutes.
Lawson, Roulier, Walker, Wright and Stanfords Cori Enghusen
(Bothell, Wash.), who blocked four Chinese attempts, continued to
step up, combining for all of the team's 42 second half points, securing
the USA's win.
"We knew they (China) would come out hard, wanting to win because
they had already lost to us twice," said Floyd. "We came
out tough in the beginning and we just stayed strong. I think everybody
came out with the right mindset tonight. Everybody wanted it and everybody
played hard. It's a great feeling and I'm happy for everybody here."
Roulier finished with 15 points while Lawson tallied 13. The USA squad
shot 50 percent (9-18) from the 3-point line, while outrebounding
"It was so exciting," said Lindsey Yamasaki (Stanford /
Oregon City, Ore.). "I felt this game was by far our best game
because everyone contributed, whether it was on the bench or on the
floor. We all had our hearts in it tonight and people stepped up and
played amazing basketball. I think it was just our turn, our night.
Coach Ryan said you dont get many opportunities to play for
a championship, but this is one and we took advantage." The USA
and China had played each other twice in the past two weeks with the
Americans winning both games. The first meeting was on Aug. 16 in
Zhangjiagang, China where the USA women defeated the Chinese 92-89
in the final game of the Dong Du Cup. The teams met again on Aug.
28 in the quarterfinal round of the World University Games where the
Americans earned an 89-78 victory.
Ryan is assisted by University of Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder and
East Carolina University (N.C.) head coach Dee Stokes.
With the win, the USA Women have earned 12 medals in 13 appearances,
including five golds, six silvers and one bronze medal, and have compiled
an overall record of 74-15 (83.1 winning percentage) since beginning
World University Games play in 1973.