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1998 USA Women's World Championship Team

1998 USA Women's National Team - Pre-World Championship Games

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Phoenix, Ariz.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Himeji, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokushima and Tokyo, Japan; Myjava, Slovakia; Madrid, Spain • April 6 - May 23, 1998

In preparing for the 1998 FIBA World Championship, the U.S. squad posted a 12-1 record playing teams from around the world beginning with a two-game series against Argentina April 6 and 9, and culminating with a victory against Spain in Madrid on May 23. In between the United States traveled to Japan where it faced Australia, China and host Japan in a double round-robin tournament. Following a short break the Americans reconvened for the 1998 Slovakian Grand Prix, a round-robin May 13-17 in Myjava, Slovakia, and featuring Australia, Canada, China and host Slovakia.

USA 74, Spain 64
The U.S. survived a late rally by Spain and earned a 74-64 victory, behind 21 points from Lisa Leslie on May 23, in Madrid, Spain to close out its pre-World Championship competition with a 12-1 record.

The U.S. held a 15-point, 43-28, halftime lead and had eased into a comfortable 53-33 advantage with 15:30 remaining in the contest. Spain then began a slow, steady rally and closed the gap to I I points, 62-51 at 7:24 on two free throws by Nieves Anula Alameda after she was fouled by Leslie. While the U.S. allowed just two field goals by Spain throughout the remainder of the game, its defense sent the Spaniards to the line five more times, resulting in eight points, keeping Spain's hopes alive. However, the lead was too great to overcome and the U.S. fmished with the 74-64 victory.

In addition to Leslie's game-highs of 21 points and nine rebounds, the U.S. was further aided by 12 points from Milton, Chamique Holdsclaw added 11 and Smith recorded 10 points.

USA Squad Earns 1998 Slovakia Grand Prix Title
In an exciting finish that went down to the wire, the U.S. earned the 1998 Slovakia Grand Prix title in overtime in the final night of the five-team round-robin competition. After defeating Australia 92-80 on Mav 13, China 91-63 on May 15, and Canada 83-45 on May 16, the USA, defending Grand Prix champions, bested host Slovakia 79-72 in overtime to finish with an unblemished 4-0 record and the tournament title. While the United States took top honors, Slovakia (2-2) finished in second place, Australia (2-2) earned third and China (1-3) and Canada (1-3) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

The U.S. squad was led by Natalie Williams, who recorded team bests of 18.5 ppg., 8.3 rpg. and 13 steals. Williams, the tournament's leading scorer and 6-5 center Lisa Leslie, who posted a team second best 16.0 ppg., were named to the 1998 Slovakia Grand Prix All-Tournament Team. The U.S. offense was also assisted by Chamique Holdsclaw, who recorded 10.0 ppg. and 8.0 rpg. (second highest on team) and Ruthie Bolton added 9.8 ppg. and 2.5 rpg. Dawn Staley passed off for a team-high 18 assists (4.5 apg.) and averaged 5.5 ppg.

As a whole, the U.S. team outscored the competition by a 2 1.0 ppg. margin, scoring 86.3 ppg. to its opponents' 65.3 ppg. and held a hefty, 43.8 to 25.3 margin on the glass.

USA Finishes 5-1 in Japan Invitational
The 1998 USA Basketball Women's World Championship Team fmished play in the double round-robin 1998 Japan International Invitational on April 30 tied for first with a 5-1 record. Australia also finished with a 5-1 record, while Japan completed play with a 2-4 mark and China totaled an 0-6 record.

After opening the competition with three straight wins, the U.S. dropped a 70-53 decision to Australia on April 28, then finished strong with an 80-59 win over China on April 29 and a 92-77 victory over host Japan on April 30.

During the invitational, Leslie posted a trio of double-doubles and led the USA averaging 18.7 ppg. and 8.0 rpg., while Williams averaged 12.0 ppg. and 6.8 rpg., and Bolton averaged 1 1.8 ppg. and 4.2 rpg. Further aiding the U.S. cause was Katie Smith, 8.8 ppg., Nikki McCray, 8.3 ppg. and DeLisha Milton, 7.5 ppg. and 4.8 rpg.

The USA earned its 5-1 record despite never having a full 12-member roster. Fortner was without the services of University of Tennessee junior Chamique Holdsclaw, who was finishing her junior year at Tennessee and did not make the trip to Japan. Five-foot-eight guard Edna Campbell suffered a sprained right knee against China on April 26 and missed the final three games, while 6-3 center Tina Thompson sprained the lateral aspect of her right knee in the first half of the game against China on April 29 and did not compete in the USA's final contest.

USA Earns Two-Game Sweep Over Argentina
Behind a balanced scoring attack that included six U.S. players in double digits, the U.S. women earned a 112-33 victory over Argentina in the first of two exhibition contests April 6 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Earning the opening tip, the USA set the tone for the rest of the game as DeLisha Milton scored a layup 17 seconds into the game to give the United States a lead it would never relinquish. Argentina remained close through the first 6:05 of the contest after a 23 foot jumper by Argentina's Carolina Sanchez closed the gap to four points, 13-9, at 13:55. However, the USA held Argentina scoreless while reeling off 23 unanswered points to jump into a comfortable 36-9 lead with 5:47 to go in the first half. Continuing to pressure Argentina,. the U.S. closed out the half with a 52-16 advantage. The second half was more of the same as the United States sailed to the victory.

Lisa Leslie paced the United States with 18 points, and was aided by 15 points apiece from Natalie Williams and Kara Wolters, Tina Thompson scored I I and Nikk-I McCray and DeLisha Milton each pitched in IO points.

Behind 18 points apiece from Leslie and Williams the USA conquered Argentina 84-43 on April 11 in Knoxville, Tenn., earning a sweep of the two-game series.

Despite leading from wire to wire, the United States was not able to pull away from Argentina in the early part of the game and held a six point, 27-21, lead with 5:16 remaining in the first period. Sparked by five points by McCray, the U.S. took off on a 10-0 run and at 2:46, held a comfortable 37-21 advantage and retired at the half ahead 45-27. In the second half, the USA continued to increase its lead and with 10: 18 to go, the score stood at 64-36. Holding Argentina to just seven points for the remainder of the contest, the United States amassed an additional 20 points and sailed to the 84-43 victory.

In addition to their ganic-high tying 18 points, Leslie and Williams recorded a double-double with 13 and 11 rebounds, respectively. McCray added 12 points and Ruthie Bolton chipped in 10 in the USA win.

1998 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM
-- PRE-WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM ROSTER
--

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
AGE
AFFILIATION (SCHOOL) HOMETOWN
Jennifer Azzi
G
5-8
140
29
San Jose Lasers (Stanford) Oak Ridge, TN
Ruthie Bolton
G
5-8
150
30
Sacramento Monarchs (Auburn) McClain, MS
Edna Campbell
G
5-8
140
29
Colorado Xplosion (Texas) Pittsburgh, PA
Chamique Holdsclaw
F
6-2
166
20
University of Tennessee Astoria, NY
Lisa Leslie
F/C
6-5
170
25
Los Angeles Sparks (USC) Hawthorne, CA
Nikki McCray
G
5-11
158
26
Washington Mystics (Tennessee) Collierville, TN
DeLisha Milton
C
6-1
170
23
Portland Power (Florida) Riceboro, GA
Katie Smith
G
5-11
173
23
Columbus Quest (Ohio State) Logan, OH
Dawn Staley
G
5-6
125
27
Philadelphia Rage (Virginia) Philadelphia, PA
Tina Thompson
C
6-3
185
23
Houston Comets (USC) Los Angeles, CA
Natalie Williams
F
6-2
177
27
Portland Power (UCLA) Taylorsville, UT
Kara Wolters
C
6-7
210
22
New England Blizzard (Conn.) Holliston, MA
HEAD COACH: Nell Fortner, USA Basketball
ASSISTANT COACH: Anne Donovan, Philadelphia Rage
ASSISTANT COACH: Bernadette Mattox, University of Kentucky
ASSISTANT COACH: Deb Patterson, Kansas State University
TEAM PHYSICIAN: George DeSilvester, Carmel, IN
TEAM PHYSICIAN: David Walden, Colorado Springs, CO
TEAM PHYSICIAN: Dave Weinstein, Colorado Springs, CO
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Ed Ryan, U.S. Olympic Committee


1998 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM
-- PRE-WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL RESULTS
(12-1) --

Argentina Series (2-0)
Date Opponent Site W/L Score
April 6 Argentina Phoenix, Az.. W 112-33
April 9 Argentina Knoxville, Tenn. W 84-43
1998 Japan International Invitational (5-1)
April 24 Japan Osaka W 93-85
April 25 Australia Himeji W 85-74
April 26 China Tokushima W 89-74
April 27 Australia Nagoya L 53-70
April 28 China Tokyo W 80-59
April 29 Japan Tokyo W 92-77
1998 Slovakia Grand Prix (4-0)
May 13 Australia Myjava W 92-80
May 15 China Myjava W 91-63
May 16 Canada Kyj av a W 83-45
May 17 Slovakia Myjava W 79-73
Exhibition vs. Spain (1-0)
May 23 Spain Madrid, Spain W 74-64

1998 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM
-- PRE-WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL CUMULATIVE STATISTICS --  

  
NAME
G/S
FGM-A
PCT
3PM-A
PCT
FTM-A
PCT
REB
PTS
AS
BK
ST
Leslie
13/12
90-166
.542
1-7
.143
52-68
.765
103/ 7.9
233/ 17.9
26
25
17
Williams
13/5
76-106
.717
0-0
.000
33-42
.786
99/ 7.6
185/ 14.2
12
10
27
Bolton
12/11
50-121
.413
13-40
.325
16-19
.842
40/ 3.3
129/ 10.8
21
0
19
McCray
13/9
47-82
.573
0-1
.000
17-27
.630
42/ 3.2
111/ 8.5
20
0
14
Smith
13/2
37-68
.544
7-18
.389
24-31
.774
25/ 1.9
105/ 8.1
15
3
10
Milton
13/8
36-60
.600
0-0
.000
14-18
.778
51/ 3.9
86/ 6.6
12
5
14
Staley
13/12
20-46
.435
6-13
.462
12-13
.923
22/ 1.7
58/ 4.5
67
0
20
Holdsclaw
6/4
22-45
.489
1-2
.500
12-18
.667
37/ 6.2
57/ 9.5
8
1
10
Wolters
13/0
20-42
.476
0-0
.000
7-8
.875
38/ 2.9
47/ 3.6
8
5
6
Thompson
7/1
16-39
.410
3-7
.429
8-11
.727
32/ 4.6
43/ 6.1
2
3
5
Azzi
13/1
12-37
.324
2-8
.250
11-13
.846
18/ 1.4
37/ 2.8
36
1
12
Campbell
6/0
6-17
.353
0-4
.000
4-6
.667
5/ 0.8
16/ 2.7
4
1
2
Team
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
59
 
 
 
 
USA
13
432-829
.521
33-100
.330
210-274
.766
571/ 43.9
1107/ 85.2
231
54
156
OPP.
13
294-727
.404
52-152
.342
200-278
.719
327/ 25.2
840/ 64.6
129
28
79

*NOTE: Image is of the 1998 USA World Championship Team. 

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