VIDNOJE (FIBA U21 World Championship for Women) –
Candice Wiggins, the Stanford University star and daughter of the late San Diego Padres second baseman Alan Wiggins, poured in a game-high 30 points for the Americans.
Joanne P McCallie’s USA team, who outscored the Aussies 27-18 in the fourth quarter, won the battle of the boards, 45-22. Twenty-one of those American rebounds came on the offensive glass.
USA U21 Women Claw Back From 16-Point Deficit For 90-88 Win Over Australia
"There was a lack of readiness on our team’s part," said USA coach Joanne P McCallie. "You’re excited to play, but being excited to play doesn’t mean you’re ready to play. We just weren’t quite ready. Heck, Australia’s anthem didn’t even get played. They were upset to begin the game. Then they came out very strong, they hit some big shots and established momentum early. For us, we had to claw. That was a blue collar game.
"Looking at the fourth quarter, you have to give credit to our team, that’s a 27-18 run, that was an extremely dominant fourth quarter and that was the difference in the game."
Maryland Terps power forward Crystal Langhorne scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the United States, and Oklahoma Sooners center Courtney Paris, the daughter of former San Francisco 49ers lineman Bubba Paris, had 14 points and seven boards.
Australia coach Gary Fox tried to wear a brave face after the game.
"I am very proud of the girls,” he said. “We played a great game, but we just didn't rebound.
The Sapphires wasted terrific performances from guard Renae Camino (21 points, seven rebounds), point guard Kathleen MacLeod (20 pts, eight assists) and forward Abby Bishop (16 pts).
The USA, and world champions Australia, are two of the leading lights in the international game.
This contest showed the two countries should remain powerhouses in the game for years to come.
A Gutsy performance from both sides