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1953 USA Women's World Championship Team

FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN-- 1953

  • Date:
    Feb 25, 2014

Santiago, Chile March 7 - 22, 1953


While the AAU had been holding women's basketball championships since 1929, 1953 marked the very first time a major international basketball competition was held for women. The uncertainty of where the U.S. women would rate on the world scale was quickly eliminated. When the dust had finally settled, the USA women had laid claim to the first World Championship title and had done so in impressive fashion.


1953 USA RESULTS (5-1)
USA 60 Paraguay 28
FINAL ROUND
USA 41 France 37
USA 34 Argentina 22
Brazil 29 USA 23
USA 41 Paraguay 31
USA 49 Chile 36

1953 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS

1. USA (5-1) 6. Argentina (2-4)
2. Chile (4-2)* 7. Peru (3-3)
3. France (4-2)* 8. Mexico (2-3)
4. Brazil (4-2)* 9. Switzerland (1-4)
5. Paraguay (4-5) 10. Cuba (2-5)

*Final standings based on point differential between tied teams.

NOTE: Records include all rounds (preliminary, repass and final rounds).

Featuring a team composed of seven members of the Nashville Business College, one future Nashville Business College team player and one other, the USA in an attempt to prepare for the World Championship played and won all five of its exhibition games in South America. The USA team then went on to Santiago, Chile, and led by the play of Pauline Bowden and Katherine Washington, emerged from the first World Championship with a 5-1 record and the World title.

The games were held in Chile's national stadium on a specially built wooden platform and with seating for 35,000. In its only game of the preliminary round, the USA qualified for the six team final round by virtue of its 60-28 win over Paraguay as Agnes Baldwin scored a game-high 13 points, Bowden added 12 and Betty Murphy rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. on March 8

Opening the final round competition facing France on March 13, the USA fought its way to a four-point victory, 41-37, as Washington scored 12 and Bowden added 11 points.

Leading Argentina by a single point at halftime, 16-15, behind a game-best 14 points from Bowden, the U.S. dominated the second half to capture a 34-22 win on March 17.

Washington was the only U.S. player to reach double digits with 10 points as Brazil on March 18 handed the USA squad its only loss of the tournament. After being limited to just seven first-half points, falling behind 18-7 at the midway point, the USA fought back in the second half, outscoring Brazil 16-11, but it was not enough as Brazil earned the 29-23 victory.

Holding Paraguay to six points in the first half to take command 21-6, the U.S., behind 13 points from Washington, rebounded from its loss and posted a 41-31 victory on March 21.

Meeting host Chile in the last game of the final round, both teams entered the March 22 contest with identical 3-1 records. Playing in front of a crowd reported to number 30,000, the U.S. jumped out to a 26-19 halftime lead and maintained the momentum in the second half to claim a 49-36 victory and the World Championship title. Bowden led the team to victory with a USA tournament-high 17 points, while Washington added 14.

By claiming top honors in the World Championship, the U.S. earned the huge World Championship trophy. However, because of its size, the U.S. team was unable to bring it home. The trophy was even too big to fit through the bomb bay doors of a U.S. B-17!

1953 USA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM ROSTER


NAME POS HGT WGT AGE SCHOOL/ AFFILIATION HOMETOWN
Agnes Baldwin F 5-6 115 26 Nashville Business College
Pauline Bowden C 6-1 142 26 Nashville Business College
Betty Clark G 5-8 120 25 Iowa Wesleyan College
Agnes Loyd G 5-2 115 25 Nashville Business College
Betty Murphy F 5-8 140 24 Nashville Business College
Fern Nash F 5-6 120 24 Nashville Business College
Mildred Sanders G 5-6 120 24 Nashville Business College
Janet Thompson F 5-8 135 24 Iowa Wesleyan College
Katherine Washington G 5-9 125 20 Nashville Business College Murfreesboro, TN
HEAD COACH: John Head, Nashville Business College (TN)
ASSISTANT COACH: Tennie McGhee, AAU

1953 USA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

NAME G FGM FTM-FTA PCT PF PTS/AVG
Washington 6 23- 19- 26 .731 22 65/ 10.8
Bowden 6 24- 16- 18 .889 15 64/ 10.7
Baldwin 5 9- 10- 17 .588 7 28/ 5.6
Loyd 5 8- 8- 14 .571 16 24/ 4.8
Murphy 5 9- 3- 10 .300 10 21/ 4.2
Nash 6 8- 0- 5 .000 11 16/ 2.7
Sanders 6 4- 5- 10 .500 18 13/ 2.2
Thompson 4 4- 3- 3 1.000 7 11/ 2.3
Clark 5 3- 0- 3 .000 15 6/ 1.2
USA 6 92- 64-106 .604 123 248/ 41.3
OPP 6 62- 59-129 .314 93 183/ 30.5


NOTE: Complete statistics from the 1953 USA Women's World Championship are not available.

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