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1976 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team

Games of the XXIst Olympiad -- 1976

  • Date:
    Feb 20, 2014

Montreal, CanadaJuly 18- 27, 1976


After the International Olympic Committee decided to raise the number of participating basketball teams in the Olympics from 16 to 18, the International Basketball Federation decided that the Olympics would now host a six-team women's basketball competition. Although a World Championship in women's basketball had been held every four years since 1953, women's basketball reached a milestone in 1976 with its first Olympic competition.


1976 USA RESULTS (3-2)
Japan 84 USA 71
USA 95 Bulgaria 79
USA 89 Canada 75
USSR 112 USA 77
USA 83 Czechoslovakia 67

1976 OLYMPIC GAMES FINAL STANDINGS

1. Soviet Union (5-0)
2. United States (3-2)
3. Bulgaria(3-2)
4. Czechoslovakia (2-3)
5. Japan(2-3)
6. Canada(0-5)

Having finished eighth at the 1975 World Championship, before the U.S. women could set their sights on an Olympic medal, they first had to qualify for the 1976 Olympics. The USSR, Japan and Czechoslovakia had qualified for the '76 Games by virtue of their top three finishes at the 1975 World Championship, and Canada, as the host country, had also qualified, leaving two open spots. An Olympic Qualifying Tournament featuring nine teams was held in Hamilton, Canada, and the U.S. compiled a spotless 5-0 mark to earn the first qualifying spot, while Bulgaria finished second to take the other.

Despite a competitive Olympic field, the USSR clearly proved to be the best. Entering the 1976 Games with a winning streak that had not seen the Soviet women lose a major international game since 1958, the USSR continued its domination over its international foes at the 1976 Olympics. Earning the first Olympic women's basketball gold medal with a perfect 5-0 record, Jullana Semenova, a 7'2' center, led the Soviets averaging 19.4 points and 12.4 rebounds a game while spending more than half her time on the bench.

The USA hopes for gold were jeopardized right from the start when Japan recorded an 84-71 victory. Four of Japan's starting five played the entire 40 minutes, and Japan's Keiko Namai scored a game high 35 points, while Lusia Harris recorded 17 points and seven rebounds for the U.S. in the setback.

Nancy Dunkle, Patricia Roberts, and Ann Meyers scored 17, 16 and 15 points each as the U.S. rebounded for a convincing 95-79 win over Bulgaria. Getting the better of host Canada two days later, 89-75, the USA's offense was spearheaded by Dunkle's 15 points and by Juliene Simpson's 14 points.

The long awaited match-up between the USA and the Soviet Union ended in a lopsided loss for the Americans, as the Soviets rolled to a 112-77 win. The 7'2' Semenova dominated the U.S. for 32 points and 19 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action, while the USA was paced by Harris' 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Meeting Czechoslovakia and in need of a win in order to secure the silver medal, the U.S. broke open the tight contest in the second half to claim an 83-67 win. Tied 37-37 at halftime, the U.S. outscored Czechoslovakia 46-30 in the second half to earn the win. Harris led the U.S. with 17 points, while Dunkle added 14, and Roberts, Susan Rojcewicz, and Simpson each chipped in 10 points.

The USA's silver medal finish served a notice to the rest of the world that the United States would be a contender for the gold in 1980. U.S. head coach Billie Moore said it best, 'I think we've closed the gap.

1976 USA WOMEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM ROSTER

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
AGE
SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Cindy Brogdon
F
5-10
155
19
Tennessee Buford, GA
Nancy Dunkle
C
6-2
155
21
California-State Fullerton La Habra, CA
Lusia Harris
F
6-2
180
21
Delta State Minter City, MS
Pat Head
F
5-10
155
24
Tennessee-Martin Ashland City, TN
Charlotte Lewis
C
6-2
180
20
Illinois State Peoria, IL
Nancy Lieberman
F
5-9
140
18
Far Rockaway H.S. Far Rockaway, NY
Gail Marquis
F
5-11
165
21
Queens College St. Albans, NY
Ann Meyers
G
5-8
135
21
UCLA La Habra, CA
Mary Anne O'Connor
G
5-10
158
22
Southern Connecticut State Fairfield, CT
Patricia Roberts
F
6-1
150
21
Tennessee Monroe, GA
Sue Rojcewicz
G
5-7
135
23
Southern Connecticut State Worcester, MA
Juliene Simpson
G
5-6
156
23
John F. Kennedy Roselle Park, NJ
HEAD COACH: Billie Jean Moore, California State University
ASSISTANT COACH: Sue Gunter, Stephen F. Austin University(TX)
MANAGER: Jeanne Rowlands, Northeastern University(MA)
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Gail Weldon, Western Illinois University(MA)


1976 USA WOMEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

NAME G FGM-FGA PCT FTM-FTA PCT REB/AVG PTS/AVG AST
Harris 5 29-46 .630 18-28 .643 35/7.0 76/15.2 7
Dunkle 5 26-51 .510 13-18 .722 26/5.2 65/13.0 10
Roberts 5 23-44 .523 14-24 .583 19/3.8 60/12.0 3
Meyers 5 19-46 .413 10-11 .909 16/3.2 48/9.6 26
Simpson 5 12-34 .353 16-16 1.000 18/3.6 40/8.0 22
Rojcewicz 5 16-44 .364 4-6 .667 10/2.0 36/7.2 19
Brogdon 5 10-37 .270 9-10 .900 10/2.0 29/5.8 5
Head 5 12-31 .387 1-2 .500 27/5.4 25/5.0 7
O'Connor 5 7-13 .538 8-10 .800 12/2.4 22/4.4 8
Lieberman 5 4-9 .444 4-4 1.000 6/1.2 12/2.4 1
Lewis 2 1-5 .200 0-0 .000 3/1.5 2/1.0 0
Marquis 1 0-2 .000 0-0 .000 0/0.0 0/0.0 0
USA 5 159-362 .439 97-129 .752 182/36.4 415/83.0 108
OPP. 5 170-337 .504 77-96 .802 164/32.8 417/83.4 123

 

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