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Graves, USA U18 Team Claim Gold
Bashaara Graves had a double-double for the USA.

Bashaara Graves had a double-double for the USA.

Aug. 19, 2012


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GURABO, P.R. -- The USA U18 women's basketball team bounced back in decisive fashion from an early nine-point deficit Sunday night to defeat Brazil, 71-47, and claim the gold medal at the 2012 FIBA Americas Championship for Women.

The Americans won their sixth-straight gold medal at this tournament, and by finishing among the top four teams at the event Team USA also earned a berth in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women. That event will take place July 18-28 in Lithuania.

Tennessee freshman forward/center Bashaara Graves came through with a double-double for the Red, White and Blue, popping in 10 points and ripping down 11 rebounds to aid the winning cause. Graves registered seven of her team's 18 offensive caroms, helping the USA score 20 second-chance points during the contest and overturn a nine-point deficit in the second quarter.

Brazil scored the first nine points of the game, led 16-7 after the first period and maintained an 18-9 edge with 9:01 to go in the first half. That's when the United States hit the boards and finally began to heat up from the floor, exploding on a 19-0 run that helped send the Americans into the locker room at the half with a 29-24 lead. From there, it was all USA.

After seeing Brazil outscore them 12-8 in the lane during the first stanza, the Red, White and Blue returned to their customary role as paint prowlers the rest of the way, finishing with a 34-18 inside scoring advantage. The USA also forced its opponent into 23 turnovers and generated 16 points from those miscues.

After tonight's 24-point win, the Americans outscored their opponents by an average score of 84-37 for the five-game tournament.

 

 

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