After opening the game shooting 5-of-5 from the field to ignite an 11-1 run, the USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team (8-0) steadily improved its advantage throughout to easily secure a 106-70 win over Spain (6-2) that featured points from all 12 players and earned the USA its place in the 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal game.
“I thought we played really, really well on offense,” said USA and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma. “Our defense got better and better as the game went on. We’re about as ready as we can be going into tomorrow night.”
The USA will battle host Czech Republic (6-2), which earlier today outlasted Belarus (4-4) 81-77 in overtime, for the gold medal at 8:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. EDT) on Oct. 3 in Karlovy Vary; while Spain will meet Belarus to play for bronze at 5:30 p.m. (11:30 EDT). The USA’s final game, which will be played in front of a raucous crowd of Czech supporters, will air live on NBA TV, and fans can also watch live streaming of all FIBA World Championship games at www.FIBATV.com.
“Tomorrow night’s going to be one of the most difficult challenges for this team,” Auriemma continued. “You’re playing the Czech Republic on their home court, with all their fans, in kind of a Cinderella run for them to get to this point. I think the emotions and the energy in this building is going to be a great place to be tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to it.”
Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), who was 3-of-4 from 3-point, led four U.S. players in double figures with 14 points. That was followed by Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky) with 13 points and a game-high six rebounds, Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream) with 11 points and three steals, and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) with 11 points and four assists.
Additionally, Sue Bird (Seattle Storm) dished out a game-high five assists and three players just missed double digits, including Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), who was 4-of-4 from the field, Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) and Ashja Jones (Connecticut Sun) with nine points apiece… Not only is a gold medal at stake in Karlovy Vary, but the gold medalists will earn a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games.”