Ta'Shia Phillips and Team USA Win Gold in Serbia
July 11, 2009
BELGRADE, Serbia - Xavier University women's basketball star Ta'Shia Phillips and the 2009 USA Women's World University Games Team took home the gold medal after defeating Russia by an 83-64 margin at the World University Games Final on Saturday afternoon in Belgrade, Serbia. Team USA finished the tournament with a spotless 7-0 record. Phillips averaged 4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game during the competition.
"I'm really proud of this team," said USA and Arizona State University head coach Charli Turner Thorne. "They stayed tough, kept working hard. These are some of the best college players in the country, and they showed it tonight. That Russian team has been playing together for years. I coached against them two years ago (at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship). For these young ladies to come together in a couple of weeks, be so responsive to what we asked them to do as coaches, to give everything they have for their country, that was awesome."
Tina Charles (Connecticut / Jamaica, N.Y.) led the way for the US on Saturday with 28 points and 18 rebounds.
Also today, Australia (5-2) defeated Czech Republic (4-3) 88-77 to take home the bronze medal.
The USA dominated the glass, outrebounding Russia 52-32 and scoring 22 second-chance points to Russia's four. Jantel Lavender (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio) added 14 points, and Kayla Pedersen (Stanford / Fountain Hills, Ariz.) contributed 11 points and nine rebounds.
Less than a minute into the game Charles had put a quick four points up on the board, but Russia answered with a 3-pointer at 8:41 and the score was 4-3 in the USA's favor early on. From there, the USA answered each Russian score until the 2:33 mark, when four straight points from Russia's Elena Danilochkina gave Russia its first lead, 17-16. Russia went on to score five more points to the USA's four to close the period up 22-20. It was the first time the Americans had trailed after the first quarter in all seven games of the tournament.
Russia strung together a 6-0 run to start the second quarter and pushed its lead to the largest of the game, 28-20, at the 8:18 mark. A Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford / Brea, Calif.) 3-pointer at 7:15, followed by a steal and fast-beak bucket from Pohlen at the 6:55 mark, however, launched a 19-3 run that recaptured the U.S. lead, and the games momentum. The streak included points from six U.S. players, and by halftime, the USA had erased the deficit and built an eight-point, 39-31 lead.
The momentum carried through to the second half, which the USA opened with a 9-0 run that forced a Russian timeout at 8:06 after Pedersen converted on a three-point play and the U.S. lead had grown to 48-31. Despite fighting to the end, Russia never again threatened the USA, which outscored its opponent 25-16 in the third period and 19-17 in the fourth quarter to capture the 83-64 win.
** Information from USA Basketball included in this release**