USA wins 6th consecutive gold at 2015 FIBA U19 Womens World Championship
Different group of young stars, same result.
While the home crowd at Chekhov provided hosts Russia the boost they needed to end the American’s dominance, the USA eventually pulled away in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter to capture their sixth consecutive gold medal at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Basketball Championship for Women. USA’s A’ja Wilson turned out to be the hero of the night, scoring 30 points along with eight rebounds to help her side stun the Russian home crowd.
The tournament – pitting the best teenage women basketball players around the globe against each other – was held from July 18-26 in Chekhov, Russia, with the final on Sunday setting up a clash of the reigning champs and the hosts.
Russia turned out to be the ideal contenders for the title, taking an early lead and matching the USA shot for shot for three and a half quarters. But in the game’s last few minutes, USA turned a three-point lead to 10 with a 7-0 run, a decisive blow that turned out to be too much for their opponents to overturn. Azura Stevens added 18 points to Wilson’s outstanding effort for the USA. For Russia, captain Daria Kolosovskaia led the scoring effort with 19 and Raisa Musina chipped in 16.
America’s captain, leading scorer and rebounder throughout the tournament – A’ja Wilson – was named the tournament’s MVP.
Earlier on Sunday, Australia defeated Spain 69-62 to win the bronze medal. The Aussies took a decisive 29-13 lead in the first quarter, and Spain, playing catch-up for the rest of the game, weren’t able to close the deficit. Alanna Smith (20) and Alexandra Sharp (16) led the offensive barrage for Australia. For Spain, Angela Salvadores – the tournament’s leading scorer – scored a game-high 22 in the losing effort.
A day earlier during the Semi-Finals stage, the dynamic American duo of Napheesa Collier (24) and A’ja Wilson (20) helped the USA cruise to a 80-65 victory over Spain, surpassing strong efforts by Laura Sauvedo (17) and Angela Salvadores (16) for the Spanish. In the other semi-final, hosts Russia dominated from start to end and eventually turned the game against Australia into a blowout win. Maria Vadeeva was on the top of her game, notching 27 points and 16 rebounds for Russia. Russia won 76-57.
1. A’ja Wilson (USA) – MVP
2. Napheesa Wilson (USA)
3. Maria Vadeeva (Russia)
4. Daria Kolosovskaia (Russia)
5. Alanna Smith (Australia)