Americans Advance to Gold Medal Game
Aug. 19, 2011
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University Women's Basketball Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy and the 2011 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team (5-0) managed a 79-67 semifinal victory against Australia (4-1) on Friday night in Shenzhen, China.
Following a day off, the U.S. will play for the gold medal against also unbeaten Taiwan (5-0) on Aug. 21 at 9:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT). Taiwan edged out Sweden (3-2) 71-70 in overtime to advance to the gold medal game. Australia and Sweden will face off Sunday at 7:00 p.m. (7:00 a.m. EDT) for the bronze medal. No matter the outcome, Taiwan is assured of its first medal in World University Games play. Sweden has also never medaled, while Australia has claimed gold once and bronze twice.
While the U.S. took an early lead, Australia was never far behind, and a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter, with scoring contributions from four different players, helped the Americans distance themselves for good.
With the U.S. holding a 53-46 edge heading into the final stanza, neither team was able to get anything to fall until the Americans managed a 9-0 run. With 6:40 to play in the contest, the U.S. finally was able to pull away from Australia, 62-46.
The Aussies didn't bow out quietly, but they were never again able to cut it to single digits as the U.S. advanced to the gold medal contest.
Neither team shot well, with the American women hitting 38.5 percent (30-78 FGs) of its tries and Australia shooting 37.1 percent (26-70 FGs) from the field. In a night when the USA's shots weren't falling, however, rebounding keyed the team's victory as the squad outrebounded Australia 54-41, with 16 of them coming on the offensive end.
Listing a roster that averages 5'9", the USA's gold medal opponent, Taiwain, will be quite different than Australia.
"We are going to go from the biggest, strongest team we've seen to the shortest, quickest team we've seen," said Head Coach Bill Fennelly. "It will be an interesting game, and we have one day to prepare. There are only two teams that have a chance to win a gold medal, and we are one of them."
Assisting Fennelly on the USA sideline are Suzie McConnell-Serio of Duquesne University and Williams-Flournoy.