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1995-96 USA Basketball Women's National Team

1995-96 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA • October 28, 1995 - July 13, 1996

The tenure of the 1995-96 Women's National Team was truly a watershed period for the USA Basketball women's program. Suffering from a gold medal drought after bronze medal finishes at the '92 Olympics and '94 World Championship, the USA had seen its dominance in the international game wane.

Determined to recapture the OIympic gold on its home soil in Atlanta, USA Basketball undertook a revolutionary approach to training its Olympic team by structuring a long-term National Team program comprised of 52 games, including 21 games versus top NCAA programs and Athletes in Action, tours of Russia, Ukraine, China, Australia and Canada, as well as a six-game domestic exhibition schedule.

USA Basketball's strategy in developing the National Team was to take the United States' top Olympic prospects and have them play together as a cohesive unit for 10-months prior to Atlanta. With winning the Olympic gold the top priority, USA Basketball also adopted a secondary goal of elevating the popularity and visibility of women's basketball throughout the U.S.

After a seven day trial in Colorado Springs, the 11-member National Team was selected on May 25, 1995, and the following day departed for a series of scrimmages in Europe, then recessed for the summer.

Coached by Stanford's Tara VanDerveer, who took a year sabbatical, the team reassembled in Colorado Springs on October 2 for three weeks of training and on October 28 opened its 21-game tour with a victory over Athletes in Action.

The National Team's three-month NCAA Tour proved to be an educational experience for the USA squad, its college opponents as well as the American public. Winning by an average of 45.2 ppg., the National Team traveled to the campuses of the United States' top collegiate powers cruised past the overmatched college teams and enlightened fans by giving them a glimpse of women's hoops on the professional level. The National Team itself used the tour to evolve into a cohesive unit, developing offenses and defenses. Suffering from a pair of injuries during the tour, Dawn Staley was unable to compete after the fourth game and returned to action after the trip to Russia and Ukraine.

The USA's victory over Texas Tech on February 3 marked the successful conclusion of the barnstorming NCAA Tour. Lisa Leslie led the United States' scoring campaign throughout the 21 games at 17.1 ppg., while Katrina McClain grabbed a team-best 7.9 rpg. and Teresa Edwards dished out 5.9 apg.

The National Team entered into overseas competition January 15-23 when it earned three victories over Club Uralmash in Ekaterininburg, Russia, and four wins over Ukraine in Kiev, while boosting its record to 26-0. Ruthie Bolton finished as the USA's leading scorer versus Ukraine with 16.3 ppg. and McClain checked in as the USA's leading rebounder at 12.3 rpg.

The National Team hit the halfway point in its season with a grueling tournament in China that included eight games in as many days in three different cities. Playing March 8-15 against China, Cuba and South Korea, the USA earned a win every day of the tournament and improved its overall mark to 36-0. McClain led the USA charge, registering team highs of 17.1 ppg. and 16.3 ppg. Sheryl Swoopes and Carla McGhee did not travel to China due to injury, however Valeria Whiting, a 6-3 forward, competed with the team.

Upon return from China, the USA launched its six-game domestic exhibition schedule scoring wins over Ukraine in Rock Hill, S.C., a WBCA senior all-star team in Atlanta, and China in Philadelphia.

May 1996, saw the 39-0 National Team travel to Australia and claim another pre-Olympic tournament title, scoring seven wins down-under against the field of Australia, Cuba and Ukraine, increasing its record to a 46-0 despite losing McClain to a sprained ankle in the first game. Leslie claimed top scoring and rebounding honors at 16.3 ppg. and 9.1 rpg. Once again auditioning players for the Olympic Team, 6-5 center Sylvia Crawley competed with the team in Australia.

After its Australian tour, the National Team headed into the final phase of its pre-Olympic preparations with a victory over Cuba in Providence, R.I., then swept three games versus Canada, in which it scored wins over its North American rival in Calgary, Vancouver and Oakland, Calif. Venus Lacey, a 6-4 center who would later earn the final roster spot on the USA Olympic squad, played with the National Team during their games versus Cuba and Canada.

A one-point victory over Russia in Chicago on June 15 marked the USA squad's last game as the National Team and the following day all 11 members of the National Team along with Lacey were announced as members of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team. The team continued in its winning ways by defeating Italy 86-46 in a final pre-Olympic tune-up on July 13 in Indianapolis and then rolling to the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta July 21-August 4.

 

1995-96 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
NAME POS HGT
WGT
AGE SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Jennifer Azzi G 5-8
140
27 Stanford Oak Ridge, TN
Ruthie Bolton G 5-8
150
28 Auburn McClain, MS
Teresa Edwards G 5-11
155
31 Georgia Atlanta, GA
Lisa Leslie C/F 6-5
170
23 Southern California Inglewood, CA
Rebecca Lobo F/C 6-4
185
22 Connecticut Southwick, MA
Katrina McClain F 6-2
180
30 Georgia Atlanta, GA
Nikki McCray G 5-11
158
23 Tennessee Collierville, TN
Carla McGhee C/F 6-2
165
27 Tennessee Peoria, IL
Dawn Staley G 5-6
125
25 Virginia Philadelphia, PA
Katy Steding F 6-0
160
27 Stanford Lake Osewego,OR
Sheryl Swoopes F 6-0
145
24 Texas Tech Brownfield, TX
HEAD COACH: Tara VanDerveer, Stanford University (CA)
ASSISTANT COACH: Renee Brown, University of Kansas
ASSISTANT COACH: Nell Fortner, Louisiana Tech University

 

1995-96 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM RESULTS (52-0)

DATE OPPONENT SCORE SITE ATTENDANCE HIGH SCORER
10/31/95 Athletes In Action 83-57 Cincinnati, OH *1,800 Leslie - 24
11/02/95 Georgia 100-53 Athens, GA 5,458 Swoopes - 27
11/05/95 Connecticu 83-47 Storrs, CT *8,241 Leslie - 20
11/07/95 Virginia 96-68 Charlottesville, VA 6,105 Leslie - 23
11/10/95 Stanford 100-63 Stanford, CA *7,391 Bolton - 16
11/13/95 San Diego State 104-47 San Diego, CA 2,557 Azzi - 20
11/16/95 SW Missouri State 89-38 Springfield, MO 7,755 Leslie/McCray - 14
11/19/95 North Carolina State 98-52 Raleigh, NC 6,401 Leslie - 18
11/22/95 Tennessee 82-58 Knoxville, TN 6,306 Leslie - 17
11/28/95 Washington 92-47 Seattle, WA 5,741 Leslie - 24
11/30/95 Kansas 101-47 Lawrence, KS 3,800 Leslie - 22
12/03/95 Vanderbilt 78-50 Nashville, TN 7,548 McClain - 15
12/05/95 George Washington 110-37 Washington, DC 3,124 McGhee - 21
12/09/95 Old Dominion 97-40 Norfolk, VA *4,897 Bolton - 21
12/12/95 Arkansas 101-53 Fayetteville, AR 5,043 Leslie - 21
12/16/95 Purdue 90-50 Indianapolis, IN 9,887 Bolton - 19
12/21/95 Ohio State 118-49 Columbus, OH 8,620 Azzi - 18
1/03/96 Auburn 98-46 Auburn, AL 3,522 McClain - 16
1/10/96 Colorado 107-24 Boulder, CO 8,379 Steding - 22
1/15/96 Club Uralmash 105-66 Ekaterininburg, Russia n/a McClain - 21
1/16/96 Club Uralmash 89-67 Ekaterininburg, Russia n/a Bolton/Leslie - 16
1/17/96 Club Uralmash 75-63 Ekaterininburg, Russia n/a McClain - 18
1/20/96 Ukraine 84-59 Kiev, Ukraine n/a Bolton - 23
1/21/96 Ukraine 64-50 Kiev, Ukraine n/a Bolton - 18
1/22/96 Ukraine 85-62 Kiev, Ukraine n/a Swoopes - 29
1/23/96 Ukraine 78-48 Kiev, Ukraine n/a Steding - 15
1/30/96 Louisiana Tech 85-74 Ruston, LA *8,712 Leslie - 30
2/03/96 Texas Tech 98-61 Lubbock, TX *8,215 Swoopes - 19
+3/08/96 Cuba 88-75 Haikou, China n/a Bolton - 18
+3/09/96 China 80-68 Haikou, China n/a Leslie - 20
+3/10/96 Cuba 96-75 Zengcheng, China n/a Leslie - 27
+3/11/96 South Korea 94-69 Zengcheng, China n/a Lobo - 24
+3/12/96 China 75-67 Zengcheng, China n/a Bolton - 22
+3/13/96 South Korea 100-71 Ningbo, China n/a Lobo - 19
+3/14/96 Cuba 81-78 Ningbo, China n/a McClain - 20
+3/15/96 China 84-77 Ningbo, China n/a McClain - 27
3/28/96 Ukraine 93-69 Rock Hill, SC *4,166 Leslie - 31
4/06/96 WBCA All-Stars 92-57 Atlanta, GA 5,136 Leslie - 28
4/13/96 China 85-52 Philadelphia, PA 6,414 Leslie - 28
%5/06/96 Cuba 108-80 Melbourne, Australia n/a McClain - 22
%5/07/96 Australia 96-81 Canberra, Australia n/a Leslie - 33
%5/09/96 Ukraine 72-50 Sydney, Australia n/a Swoopes - 12
%5/10/96 Australia 81-72 Sydney, Australia n/a Bolton - 20
%5/12/96 Cuba 108-79 Townsville, Australia n/a Leslie/McGhee - 16
%5/14/96 Ukraine 62-51 Adelaide, Australia n/a Bolton - 14
%5/15/96 Australia 87-78 Adelaide, Australia n/a Bolton/Swoopes - 20
5/26/96 Cuba 106-58 Providence, RI 4,468 Leslie - 17
6/04/96 Canada 82-68 Calgary, Canada 3,688 Swoopes - 17
6/07/96 Canada 81-74 Vancouver, Canada 5,359 Leslie - 17
6/09/96 Canada 80-68 Oakland, CA 9,128 Leslie - 16
6/15/96 Russia 80-79 Chicago, IL 5,233 Leslie - 24
7/13/96 Italy 86-46 Indianapolis, IN 10,643 Leslie - 24
*Sold Out
+International Basketball Challenge Tournament - China
%Opals' World Challenge Tournament - Australia

 

1995-96 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

NAME G
FGM-FGA
PCT
3PM-3PA
PCT
FTM-FTA
PCT
REB/AVG
PTS/AVG
AST
BLK
STL
Leslie 49
325- 563
.577
12- 31
.387
190- 253
.751
344/ 7.0
852/17.4
80
61
59
Bolton 47
231- 474
.487
78-207
.377
68- 81
.840
166/ 3.5
608/12.9
83
1
66
McClain 40
204- 324
.630
1- 2
.500
82- 123
.667
370/ 9.3
491/12.3
66
27
51
Swoopes 41
195- 399
.489
42-121
.347
55- 70
.786
176/ 4.3
487/11.9
112
18
100
Azzi 45
103- 201
.512
47- 93
.441
87- 96
.906
77/ 1.7
334/ 7.4
105
6
29
Steding 49
114- 290
.393
28-127
.220
72- 93
.774
162/ 3.3
328/ 6.7
46
17
40
Edwards 49
119- 228
.522
16- 52
.308
58- 71
.817
147/ 3.0
312/ 6.4
249
6
60
McCray 49
117- 249
.470
13- 50
.260
55- 74
.743
111/ 2.3
302/ 6.2
50
3
48
Lobo 49
111- 247
.449
6- 21
.286
54- 72
.750
169/ 3.4
282/ 5.8
43
31
21
McGhee 38
83- 206
.403
0- 5
.000
54- 76
.711
153/ 4.0
220/ 5.8
29
6
31
Staley 28
51- 134
.381
17- 51
.333
22- 26
.846
38/ 1.4
141/ 5.0
103
1
25
Lacey 6
12- 27
.444
0- 0
.000
9- 12
.750
27/ 4.5
33/ 5.5
0
5
2
Whiting 8
8- 19
.421
0- 0
.000
5- 9
.556
16/ 2.0
21/ 2.6
1
1
4
Crawley 7
2- 11
.182
0- 0
.000
3- 5
.600
10/ 1.4
7/ 1.0
2
0
1
Team
 
 
 
145/ 3.0
USA 49
1675-3372
.497
254-760
.334
814-1061
.767
2111/43.1
4418/90.2
969
183
537
OPP. 49
1086-2868
.379
170-563
.302
570- 832
.685
1515/30.9
2912/59.4
529
92
294

* The USA cumulative statistics include 49 of the team's 52 games. The box scores from the three games in January against the Russian Club Uralmash are unavailable. Valerie Whiting competed with the USA during its eight game China tournament and Sylvia Crawley was added to the U.S. roster for the Australia tournament. Venus Lacey was added to the roster for the May 26-June 9 game

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