EIGHTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 1979
Seoul, South Korea • April 29 - May 13, 1979
1979 marked the first time since 1957 that the United States claimed a World Championship title. The 22-year drought ended with a 77-61 shellacking of Canada in the finals. The USA's play was impressive, however, an important factor in the American's gold medal campaign was a boycott by the defending champion, the Soviet Union, and five other communist nations due to a lack of diplomatic relations with host country South Korea.
1979 USA RESULTS (5-1)
1979 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
Things did not start well for the favored Americans, the only team that didn't compete in preliminary play, but advanced directly to the final round, played in a seven-team round-robin format.
Opening against host South Korea in front of 20,000 fans, despite 23 points from Carol Blazejowski, the U.S. squad was shocked, 94-82.
The United States barely avoided disaster when it slipped past Italy 66-64 and Denise Curry led the USA attack with 12 points.
On the winning track, Japan fell to the Americans 84-65 as Blazejowski and Rosie Walker each tallied 16 points.
Disposing of Australia 74-59, the U.S., in need of a win to keep its gold medal chances alive, whipped France 80-59 setting the stage for the game against Canada.
The United States entered the final day with a 4-1 record and in need of a win if the gold was to be realized, while the Canadians, who had won all five of their previous games, did not even need to win against the U.S. to clinch the championship. What the Canadians did need was to not lose to the U.S. by more than 13 points.
The USA opened an early 13-6 lead and at halftime only led by six, 35-29. The U.S. slowly built a lead that reached double figures. Holding a 75-61 lead with 20 seconds remaining, Canada missed a field goal and the U.S. sealed its gold-medal finish when Tara Heiss and Blazejowski each made one of two free throws in the final nine seconds. Blazejowski again led the USA offense scoring 25 points. With its 16-point 77-61 victory over Canada, the U.S. had the gold, while South Korea was awarded the silver and Canada the bronze.
Blazejowski, the USA's leading scorer averaging 18.7 ppg., was named as the Best Forward at the competition and Heiss was voted the Most Popular Player. The United States gold medal gave the USA its third World Championship title and ended the Soviet streak of five consecutive crowns.
The 1979 USA team was not done after winning the World Championship. The same team went on to win the 1979 R. William Jones Cup in Taiwan for the U.S., and finished the summer with a silver medal at the Pan American Games.
1979 USA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM ROSTER
|Carol Blazejowski||F||5-10||150||22||Montclair State College||Fairview, NJ|
|Barbara Brown||C||6-0||140||20||Stephen F. Austin State||Dallas, TX|
|Denise Curry||F||6-1||162||19||UCLA||Davis, CA|
|Tara Heiss||G||5-6||132||22||Maryland||Bethesda, MD|
|Kris Kirchner||C||6-4||163||19||Maryland||New Providence, NJ|
|Nancy Lieberman||F||5-10||150||20||Old Dominion||Far Rockaway, NY|
|Ann Meyers||G||5-9||135||24||UCLA||La Habra, CA|
|Jill Rankin||F||6-3||166||20||Wayland Baptist College||Phillips, TX|
|Jackie Swaim||C||6-1||170||20||Texas||Jacksonville, TX|
|Jan Trombly||F||6-0||155||21||Old Dominion||Chazy, NY|
|Rosie Walker||C||6-1||180||21||Stephen F. Austin State||Emerson, AR|
|Holly Warlick||G||5-6||130||20||Tennessee||Knoxville, TN|
|HEAD COACH: Pat Head, University of Tennessee|
|ASSISTANT COACH: Betty Jo Crumm, Weatherford Col.lege(TX)|
|ATHLETIC TRAINER: Karen Miller, California Poly Tech-Pomona|
|MANAGER: Lea Plarski, St Louis Community College-Florissant Valley (MO)|
1979 USA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Blazejowski||6||48-101||.475||16- 23||.696||21/ 3.5||112/ 18.7|
|Jill Rankin||6||23-||9-10||.900||21/ 3.5||55/ 9.2|
|Rosie Walker||6||20-||9-13||.692||28/ 4.7||49/ 8.2|
|Nancy Lieberman||6||20-||8-12||.667||22/ 3.7||48/ 8.0|
|Kris Kirchner||6||20-||4-12||.333||41/ 6.8||44/ 7.3|
|Ann Meyers||6||17-||7-8||.875||13/ 2.1||41/ 6.8|
|Denise Curry||6||16-||3-4||.750||16/ 2.7||35/ 5.8|
|Tara Heiss||6||14-||3-6||.500||11/ 1.8||31/ 5.2||11|
|Jackie Swaim||4||8-||3-3||1.000||8/ 1.3||19/ 4.8|
|Jan Trombly||3||6-||4-4||1.000||5/ 0.8||16/ 5.3|
|Barbara Brown||3||1-||5-8||.625||3/ 0.5||7/ 2.3|
|Holly Warlick||6||2-||2-3||.667||9/ 1.5||6/ 1.0|
|USA||6||195-416||.469||63- 97||.650||199/33.2||463/ 77.2||53|
NOTE: Complete assist totals are unavailable.