Golden Opportunities

By Jeff Lippman - July 08, 2007


Like four swinging senior citizens living together in a house in Florida, the women's Team USA Under-21 national team was golden...again.

The USA U21s absolutely dominated Team Australia in the finals, 96-73, putting to rest any thoughts of an Australian upset because of their narrow 90-88 loss to the U.S. in the preliminaries.

Maryland's Crystal Langhorne led the way with 23 points and 14 rebounds and Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson, Auburn's DeWanna Bonner and Stanford's Candice Wiggins all had 14 points apiece to lead the U.S.

Team USA U21, or the age group born on or after Jan. 1, 1986 as I like to call them, has been nothing but golden since capturing the 2004 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The age bracket has won four gold medals since that first in '04 and have achieved an undefeated mark of 26-0 in official FIBA and FIBA Americas competition.

So just how dominate is Team USA U21? Well, you just have to look at the numbers to see why there is no surprise that the red, white and blue stood atop the podium again in Moscow.

Team USA went 8-0 during their time in Moscow, and if not for their opening game against the same Australian team they walloped in the final, they would have barely even broken a sweat the entire time they were in Russia.

Even with the 90-88 win over Australia, the U21s average margin of victory over their eight games was 30 points. They defeated Brazil in the preliminaries by 56 points and then defeated Belgium in the quarterfinals by 51 points. And even though the team down under managed to stay close in the opener, the final wasn't nearly the same story.

Over the eight games, Langhorne managed to lead Team USA in scoring and rebounding with an average of 15.6 points and 8.9 boards per game. Stanford's Wiggins dropped 13.1 ppg and Oklahoma's Courtney Paris averaged 10.9 and eight rebounds.

Team USA was so much better than competition they afforded to play Paris, the most dominant force in women's college basketball, only 17 minutes per game and still destroy all comers.

The United States outshot opponents 45 percent to 37.5 percent over the course of the tournament and had a rebounding margin of almost plus 27.

The world may be catching up to the United States on a basketball scale, but the 2007 FIBA World Championships in Moscow, Russia certainly didn't prove that theory for the women's game.

It showed, once again, that the ladies of the United States are head and shoulders above the rest of the world on the hardwood.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 05:49 PM on July 08, 2007
Comments (2)

Comments

Well watching last summers World Championships...we are really not "Head and Shoulders" above the rest of the world...our future may be bright but a team with Taurasi, Bird, Holdsclaw, Thompson, and every other WNBA all-star didn't win gold last summer.

Dudes and Dudettes,

I have a response but comments as well on Women Athletics in America. Why is it so hard to follow and find info on the Ladies games. The Chicks play better then the dudes; fundamentals perfect, intensity awesome and dedication to the game impressive. The men's game you have concerns of gambling forever and you know this. The ladies are the purist form of sports and get no love from the guys. Lets try and push the good and "What is Right" in her game.

Bodine at the zsportslounge.com

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