UDINE, Italy – The USA Women’s U19 National Basketball Team (6-1) made a great run to the gold medal game at the 2017 U19 FIBA World Cup and claimed the silver medal after losing a hard-fought championship game 86-82 to undefeated Russia (7-0) on July 30.
Elon University women’s basketball head coach Charlotte Smith served as one of the USA assistant coaches for the tournament, winning a silver medal with the team.
The gold medal game featured 24 lead changes, and the USA’s largest lead was only eight points, while Russia’s largest lead was six points. The lead changed sides six times in the fourth quarter, with the USA’s final edge coming at 75-74 with 3:23 to play.
Down the stretch it was Russia’s turn for a run, as they shot 3-of-5 from the floor, forced two turnovers by the Americans and hit 6-of-9 from the line as it outscored the U.S. 12-7 over the final 3:08 of the game.
The U.S. never backed down and continued to fight for the win, but with shots not falling (2-7 FGs in the closing minutes), the red, white and blue were unable to retake the lead.
En route to the gold medal game, USA won Group A after victories over Mali (95-58), China (91-51) and host Italy (66-49). The Americans then claimed a 104-46 win against Puerto Rico in the Round of 16, a 78-51 win over France in the quarterfinals and a 73-66 victory over Japan in the semifinals to advance to the gold medal game.