MOSCOW (Univ. of SC, SID) – South Carolina guard Tiffany Mitchell helped Team USA to its second gold medal in as many FIBA 3-on-3 World Championships with a perfect 9-0 record through Pool D. She and her teammates Cierra Burdick (Tennessee), Sara Hammond (Louisville) and Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame) capped their run with a 15-8 win over host Russia Sunday evening at Luzhniki Park in Moscow.
Team USA cruised through Pool D, which included Hungary, Brazil, Ukraine, Spain and Argentina, with its closest game still a double-digit win. Spain was able to hold the Red, White and Blue to its lowest offensive output in pool play but still lost 16-6. The Argentinians also came within 10 points in a 21-11 Team USA victory.
In the first round of knockout action, the U.S. dispatched Uruguay, which advanced as the fourth team out of Pool A, 19-6. The Americans met France in the quarterfinals in the second game on Saturday. Against Pool B's second-place team, the U.S. eked out a 12-9 victory to move on to Sunday's semifinals.
Team USA had an early lead on Pool A winner Belgium in the semifinals, but saw the game tied at 13 with just over 30 seconds remaining. Mitchell helped turn the tide, leaping to steal a pass into the post and turning it into a bucket before combining to force another Belgium turnover, which led to another U.S. bucket. The spurt was the start of the last push to an 18-14 victory.
The final saw a pair of undefeated teams face off after Russia dispatched Pool C winner Czech Republic in the other semifinal. Team USA was unfazed by the home crowd and finished off the gold-medal effort with a 15-8 victory.
The 2014 edition was just the second FIBA 3x3 World Championship contested with Mitchell and her teammates keeping USA Basketball as the only gold-medal winners at the event. The 2012 gold was won by the quartet of Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Bria Hartley (UConn), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford) and Ann Strother (UConn).