"You want every team you coach to peak at the right time, and I think we did that," said USA U19 and DePaul University (Ill.) head coach Doug Bruno. "We really put everything together at medal time. I think for sure that was their best 40 minutes of basketball since we've been together."
In today's earlier action, Serbia (8-1) held off a late run from Spain (5-4) to earn a 52-50 victory and the bronze medal.
The gold medal was never in question after the USA jumped out to a 21-5 lead just five minutes into the first quarter, including seven points from
Monica Wright (Virginia / Woodbridge, Va.)
and six from Maya Moore (Collins Hill H.S. / Lawrenceville, Ga.), who both when on to finish with 19 points to lead all scorers.
"I was extremely proud, and energized and excited when we came out so strong," Moore said. "It was just fun to come out so well and get the early lead. To win the way we did tonight was just a real statement for our age group worldwide."
This age group, comprised of players born on or after
Jan. 1, 1988, improves to 13-0 in FIBA aged-based competition, with the USA having won gold with a4-0 slate at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The USA's 33-16 first-quarter lead stretched to 55-33 at halftime, remained at 22 points, 72-50, after three quarters and the USA outscored Sweden 27-7 in the fourth period to bring the final score to 99-57.
"We weren't going to let it be close," said Jasmine Thomas. "We went out and played our game the way we knew we could play. We put it to them early and then kept pounding all 40 minutes."
Moore also contributed 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals; Jantel Lavender (Cleveland Central Catholic H.S. / Cleveland, Ohio) added 15 points and 10 rebounds; Jasmine Thomas (Oakton H.S. / Fairfax, Va.) scored 13 points and grabbed four rebounds; Angie Bjorklund (University H.S. / Spokane, Wash.) tallied 11 points, including 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point; and Vicki Baugh (Sacramento H.S. / Sacramento, Calif.) contributed nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
Sweden was led by eight points from the 2007 U19 World Championship for Women MVP, Frida Eldebrink, and eight points from Elin Eldebrink.
The USA was also helped by a huge 68-40 advantage on the boards, including 26 offensive rebounds.
"I'm very honored to have coached this team, and I'm honored to have represented USA Basketball," Bruno said. "The players were just a treat to be around. They were just great people. We worked them hard. They were a fun loving bunch, and they worked hard."Bruno is assisted on the sidelines by Cynthia Cooper-Dyke of Prairie View A&M University (Texas) and Carol Owens of Northern Illinois University.
2007 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women
The USA qualified for the 2007 U19 World Championship after Bruno, as the USA's head coach, led the U18 squad to a 4-0 slate and gold medal at the zone qualifier, the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women. The event was hosted by USA Basketball at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament is held every four years and was first held in 1985. USA women's teams are 32-10 in the U19/Junior World Championships, capturing gold with an 8-0 record most recently in 2005.
Bruno Brings Home the Gold
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