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1998 USA Basketball Women's National Team

1998 USA Basketball Women's National / Goldmark Cup Team

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Syndey and Wollongong, Australia • September 9-16, 1998


After dropping each of the first three games of its five game Australian tour, the 1998 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team rebounded to win its final two contests against Australia's National Team in impressive fashion and finish the Goldmark Cup exhibition series 2-3.

The series, which concluded in Sydney, site of the 2000 Olympic Games, featured the only two teams to have already qualified for the 2000 Games. The United States, defending Olympic gold medalists, gained an automatic entry into the 2000 Olympics by virtue of winning the 1998 FIBA Women's World Championship in June; and Australia, which won the bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, owns an automatic entry as host country.

'We learned a lot about what we need in addition to what we have already,' said USA head coach Nell Fortner. 'The first three games, we didn't have an answer for their height. But I'm very pleased with our perimeter game. I thought that Nikki McCray and Katie Smith shot the ball extremely well. They came up big for us.'

The team, which featured four players who had not played for a senior-level USA Basketball team before, also included three of the six players -- Jennifer Azzi, McCray and Smith -- who were named Aug. 20 as core group players for the 1998-2000 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team Program and are expected to compose the nucleus for the U.S. in the 2000 Olympic Games.

Smith led the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 ppg. and shooting 63.6 percent (7-11 3ptFGs) from behind the three-point arc. McCray also helped pace the USA, averaging 11.6 ppg. and shooting a team high 5 1.0 percent (25-49 FGs) from the field, while forward Yolanda Griffith was the squad's top rebounder, averaging 8.8 rpg. Owning the team lead in both assists (27, 5.4 apg.) and steals (17, 3.4 spg.) was four-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, the team's starting point guard.

Australia 68, USA 63
After shooting 51.7 percent (15-29 FGs) from the field in the first half, the USA was able to hit just 25.6 percent (11-43 FGs) in the second half as Australia claimed a hard-fought 68-63 win in Hobart at the Derwent Entertainment Centre.

DeLisha Milton led the United States with 17 points, while Griffith added 11 points and nine rebounds. Tina Thompson collected a game high 15 rebounds, while Edwards issued a game high six assists.

Griffith's three-point play with 59.4 seconds to play capped a late 8-2 U.S. run and sliced the Aussies' lead to 67-63. But, after a defensive stop, the Americans failed to score and Jenny Whittle's free throw with 29.9 seconds left upped the Aussies' lead to 68-63, its final margin of victory.

The U.S. raced out to a 19-10 lead, its largest of the game, after Milton converted a pair of free throws with 14:20 to play in the first half. With 6:15 remaining in the opening stanza, Natalie Williams hit a shot to put the USA ahead by eight points, 31-23, as the Americans seemed to have control of the contest.

However, Australia used a stingy full-court press to roar back and close the first half on a 14-3 run that was keyed by six points from Jo Hill, who finished with 11 points, and a bucket at the end of the half from 17-year-old reserve center Lauren Jackson, who came off the bench to total a game high 20 points and a game high five blocked shots, as the hosts retired to the locker room at halftime with a 41-36 edge. To open the second half, the Australian defense allowed just two U.S. field goals while enjoying a 10-4 run that secured the Aussies' lead and helped ensure the win.

Australia 62, USA 51
For the second consecutive night, the United States ran into a tough second-half defensive effort from Australia as the U.S. dropped a 62-51 decision at the Glasshouse in Melbourne in the teams' second meeting. Including the series opener, the U.S. combined to shoot a solid 48.1 percent (25-52 FGs) in the first half of its first two games, but saw its second half shooting drop to 24.7 percent (19-77 FGs) in those tilts.

For the USA, Smith led all scorers with 15 points, and McCray followed with 13 points in the USA's effort. Edwards checked in with a game high seven assists and a game high five steals for the Americans.

Australia, which took a 34-30 lead to the locker room at halftime, led from wire-to-wire in the second half. With 15:26 left in the game, guard Annie LaFleur buried a 3-pointer to give the Aussies their largest lead of the game at that point, eight points, at 43-35. But the USA battled hard and, following a 3-pointer by Edwards with 13:31 to play, had crept to within four points again, 44-40. Nonetheless, the Aussies held the Americans at bay. After the U.S. inched to within five points, 56-5 1, with 3:14 left in the game, Australia answered by scoring the garne's final six points to secure the 11-point win.

Australia 70, USA 67
With the game tied, 1:27 to play and time running out on the shot clock, Australia's Kristie Harrower drained a turnaround 3-pointer to lift Australia to a 70-67 victory over the USA in the third of five Goldmark Cup games at Adelaide's Clipsal Powerhouse. With just two games to play in the five game series, the win insured the Goldmark Cup title for Australia.

McCray and Smith led the U.S. with 16 points apiece and combined to shoot 14-of-23 (.609) from the floor, including Smith's 4-of-4 effort from behind the 3-point arc. Australia's Jackson led her squad with a game high 24 points and 11 rebounds, including eight at the offensive end.

To close the game, Australia outscored the USA 6-0 over the contest's final 2:57 to grab the win. After the Aussies opened a 54-49 lead with 10:50 remaining, the U.S. reeled off an 11-2 run over a 4:01 span to stake a 60-56 lead with 6:29 to play. Edwards later canned a 3-pointer with 4:58 remaining, but Jackson completed a trio of three-point plays to keep Australia close, trailing just 63-62, with 4:19 left in the contest. Griffith scored for the United States with 3:09 to play, giving the USA a 67-64 advantage before the Aussies embarked on their game-clinching run.

USA 56, Australia 47
Using a team effort that saw every available player either score or collect at least one rebound, the USA came together to post its first victory, a 56-47 triumph, over Australia in the fourth of five games in the 1998 Goldmark Cup at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre.

The USA played stellar defense, limiting Australia to a series-low 47 points and forcing the Aussies to shoot 32.7 percent (17-52 FGs) from the field, including just 23.1 percent (6-26 FGs) in the second half. Additionally, the U.S. took good care of the ball, giving up a series-low 10 turnovers.

Thompson led the United States with 13 points and nine rebounds, and McCray added 10 points. Griffith led all players with 14 rebounds starting in place of the injured Williams, who suffered a strained calf in the USA's previous game with Australia. Griffith helped the U.S. outrebound the Aussies 14-8 on the offensive glass in this contest.

After Australia's Tully Bevilacqua gave her squad a 34-33 lead -- its only advantage of the second half -- with 13:54 to play, reserve point guard Shannon Johnson answered with a big 3-pointer with 13:11 remaining, giving the U.S. a 36-34 edge. Johnson's trey ignited an 11-4 run that consumed 4:17 and saw the Americans ahead 44-38 with 6:28 remaining.

Johnson provided a lift for the Americans at both ends of the floor, scoring the other six of her nine points in a span of 1:58 late in the first half to help the USA assemble a 30-29 halftime lead. Johnson also checked in with four rebounds, a pair of key steals and helped the U.S. bench produce its highest output of the Australian tour, 33 points.

USA 71, Australia 53
Playing in the shadow of the basketball venue for the 2000 Olympic Games, the '98 USA squad applied another stellar defensive effort and led start-to-finish in its 71-53 win over the Australian National Team at the State Sports Centre in the final game of its Australian tour.

While Australia clinched the series with its 70-67 win in the third game of the series, the USA rallied to win each of the final two contests by an average of 13.5 points, outrebounded Australia in each of the last two games, forced an average of 18.5 Aussie turnovers per contest, and held Australia to just 33.3 percent (36-108 FGs) shooting from the floor during those games.

Smith led the USA with 17 points and finished as the team's leading scorer in the five games, averaging 12.2 ppg. McCray added 12 points, connecting on each of her first five field goal attempts, and Edwards paced the U.S. effort with I 0 assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Rachael Sporn led all scorers for Australia with 12 points.

1998 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S SENIOR NATIONAL TEAM
-
1998 AUSTRALIA GOLDMARK CUP -

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
AGE
PRO TEAM COLLEGE HOMETOWN
Jennifer Azzi
G
5-8
140
29
San Jose Lasers Stanford '90 Oak Ridge, TN
Teresa Edwards
G
5-9
149
34
Philadelphia Rage Georgia '86 Smyrna, GA
La'Keshia Frett
F
6-3
170
23
Philadelphia Rage Georgia '97 Hampton, VA
Yolanda Griffith
F
6-3
175
28
Chicago Condors Florida Atiantic'94 Chicago, IL
Shannon Johnson
G
5-7
120
24
Columbus Quest South Carolina'96 Columbus, OH
Nikki McCray
G
5-11
158
26
Washington Mystics Tennessee'95 Collierville, TN
DeLisha Milton
C
6-1
170
23
Portland Power Florida '97 Riceboro,GA
Crystal Robinson
G
5-11
155
24
Colorado Xplosion SE Oklahoma St. '96 Aurora, CO
Katie Smith
G
5-11
173
24
Columbus Quest Ohio State '96 Logan, OH
Tina Thompson
C
6-3
185
23
Houston Comets USC'97 Los Angeles, CA
Natalie Williams
F
6-2
177
27
Portland Power UCLA'94 Taylorsville, UT
Head Coach: Nell Fortner, USA Basketball
Assistant Coach: Linda Hargrove, Colorado Xplosion
Assistant Coach: Orlando Woolridge, Los Angeles Sparks
Athletic Trainer: Ed Ryan, U.S. Olympic Committee (Colorado Springs, CO)
Team Physician: John DiFiori, UCLA Division of Family Medicine (Los Angeles, CA)


 

1998 AUSTRALIA GOLDMARK CUP RESULTS

Date Opponent Site
W/L
Score
Sept. 9 Australia Hobart, Australia
L
68-63
Sept. 10 Australia Melbourne, Australia
L
62-51
Sept. 12 Australia Adelaide, Australia
L
70-67
Sept. 14 Australia Wollongong, Australia
W
56-47
Sept. 16 Australia Sydney, Australia
W
71-53

1998 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S SENIOR NATIONAL TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
-
1998 AUSTRALIA GOLDMARK CUP -

 

NAME
G/S
FGM-A
PCT
3PM-A
PCT
FTM-A
PCT
REB
AS
BK
ST
PTS
McCray
5/5
25-49
.510
2-8
.250
6- 7
.857
10/2.5
9
2
3
58/11.6
Smith
5/5
19-44
.432
7-11
.636
16-21
.762
16 /3.2
2
4
6
61/12.2
Thonipson
5/0
16-44
.364
1-14
.071
8- 10
.800
39/7.8
9
0
4
41/ 8.2
Milton
5/5
12-29
.414
0-0
.000
4-5
.800
14 /2.8
3
3
2
36/ 7.2
Williams
3/3
8- 25
.320
0-0
.000
4-8
.500
15 /5.0
0
1
1
20/ 6.7
Griffith
5/2
13-36
.361
0-0
.000
7-17
.412
44/8.8
2
4
11
33/ 6.6
Johnson
5/0
7- 14
.500
1-2
.500
10-13
.769
9 / 1.8
5
0
4
32/ 6.4
Edwards
5/5
6- 23
.261
2-6
.333
4-6
.667
21/4.2
27
0
17
18/ 3.6
Azzi
5/0
3- 8
.375
1-1
1.000
5-6
.833
4 / 0.8
11
0
6
12/ 2.4
Frett
3/0
1- 6
.167
0-0
.000
0-0
.000
2 / 0.7
0
0
1
2/ 0.7
Robinson
4/0
1- 8
.125
0-4
.000
0-0
.000
1/ 0.3
1
0
0
2/ 0.5
USA
5
115-293
.392
14-46
.304
64- 93
.688
201/40.2
69
14
53
308/61.6
AUS
5
103-281
.367
9- 45
.200
85-118
.720
176/35.2
52
25
34
300/60.0

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