June 8, 2014
MOSCOW -- With a 15-8 win over host Russia (8-1) in the gold medal game of the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship on Sunday, the USA women captured a second-straight world championship title with an unblemished 9-0 record.
The victory gave Tennessee standout Cierra Burdick her fourth international gold medal with USA Basketball. She previously played for the 2011 U19 World Championship, the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
Burdick, a 6-foot-2 rising senior forward, joined Sara Hammond (Louisville/Mt. Vernon, Ky.), Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame/Lincolnwood, Ill.) and Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina/Charlotte, N.C.) to comprise the American squad.
The USA advanced to the final by beating Belgium (8-1) 18-14 in the semifinals. While the Americans led from nearly start to finish, the game was tied at 13-all with just over a minute to play before the USA put together a 5-1 run to close out the win.
In the championship contest, the Americans trailed 1-0 in the first minute before outscoring Russia 7-2 to lead 8-3 at 4:33 when Russia called a timeout. From there, the USA's lead never diminished. The U.S. women now have captured gold at the two FIBA 3x3 World Championships that have taken place since the inaugural event in 2012.
In the women's bronze medal game, Belgium defeated Czech Republic (7-2) 14-12.
"It just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter," said Burdick. "Every gold medal has its own moments and special experiences. But it is more intimate, I would say, with this group. There are just three on the court at a time and four of us together, one coach - we are a close-knit group. I'm just grateful the opportunity."
Burdick now turns her focus back to her summer internship, a stint in New York City at ABC's Good Morning America. She isn't expected to return to Knoxville until mid-August.