THIRTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 1998
Karlsruhe, Bremen and Berlin, Germany • May 26 - June 7, 1998
Posting an unblemished 9-0 record, the 1998 USA squad captured the 13th FIBA World Championship after rallying to claim come-from-behind victories in its semifinal and gold medal match-ups.
1998 USA RESULTS (9-0)
1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
Lisa Leslie averaged a U.S. high of 17.1 ppg. in addition to her team second best 8.8 rpg., Natalie Williams averaged 12.3 ppg. and a team high 9.6 rpg., while guard Dawn Staley finished with a record 52 assists (5.8 apg.), while also contributing 7.0 ppg.
Defeating its preliminary first round opponents Japan 95-89 on May 26, Lithuania 87-61 on May 27 and Senegal 77-48 on May 28, the U.S. advanced to the preliminary second round at the top of its pool.
The U.S. cruised through its second round games, surpassing China 70-54 on May 30, Spain 79-68 on May 31 and closed out the round with a 36-point, 96-60, rout of previously unbeaten Russia on June 1 to advance to the quarterfinals again at the top of its group.
Matched against the Slovak Republic in the quarterfinals, the USA received strong efforts from its bench as Chamique Holdsclaw and DeLisha Milton recorded 20 and 11 points each to lead the U.S. to the 89-62 victory on June 4.
In the semifinal game, after trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half, the USA rallied in the second half to earn a 93-79 victory over rival Brazil. Ruthie Bolton-Holifield scored 16 points and hit a key three-pointer with 17:25 to play in the second half that gave the U.S. the lead 51-49 and the USA rolled in for the victory. Williams and Leslie also finished with 16 points, and added 13 and 14 rebounds, respectively.
In the gold medal contest against Russia, unlike the first meeting in which the U.S. dominated almost from the start, the U.S. trailed for most of the game and at halftime lagged behind 37-28.
Fighting back in the second half, the game's deciding moment came with 1:46 remaining. With the U.S. trailing 61-60, Bolton-Holifield nailed a three to put the USA into the lead 63-61. Russia tied the game, but Bolton-Holifield answered with her second straight three to give the U.S. a 66-63 lead at 1:12. Russia scored to make it a one point game with 52 seconds left, then Leslie increased the U.S. lead back to three, 68-65, when she hit a turn-around jumper with 34 seconds showing. Russia turned the ball over on its following possession, and the USA's Katie Smith recovered it and eventually Staley was fouled with 10 seconds left. Staley made both free throws to up the U.S. lead to 70-65, and after Russia missed a three-pointer, Staley made one of two free throws with 3 seconds left to seal the 71-65 victory.
Leslie finished as the USA's top scorer with 20 points and a game best 12 rebounds. Milton added 13 points, while Bolton-Holifield and Smith each had 11 points. Staley recorded seven points and tied the USA World Championship single game record for assists with 12.
1998 USA WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM ROSTER
|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|
|Taj McWilliams||C||6-3||173||27||Philadelphia Rage (St. Edward's)||Augusta, GA|
|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 (injured)||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 WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Leslie||9/9||64-122||.525||0- 1||.000||26- 35||.743||79/ 8.8||154/17.1||16||8||15|
|Williams||9/9||47- 86||.547||0- 2||.000||17- 23||.739||86/ 9.6||111/12.3||9||7||9|
|Holdsclaw||9/0||38- 82||.463||0- 1||.000||22- 36||.611||49/ 5.4||98/10.9||10||5||10|
|Smith||9/9||30- 75||.400||8- 24||.333||16- 22||.727||25/ 2.8||84/ 9.3||7||3||10|
|McCray||9/8||36- 64||.563||0- 1||.000||12- 16||.750||23/ 2.6||84/ 9.3||14||1||11|
|Milton||9/0||27- 42||.643||0- 0||.---||10- 15||.667||38/ 4.2||64/ 7.1||13||6||9|
|Staley||9/9||23- 55||.418||6- 20||.300||11- 12||.917||9/ 1.0||63/ 7.0||52||0||14|
|Bolton||7/1||16- 42||.381||10- 24||.417||0- 0||.---||12/ 1.7||42/ 6.0||8||0||4|
|Wolters||8/0||18- 44||.409||0- 0||.---||4- 4||1.000||29/ 3.6||40/ 5.0||4||7||5|
|Azzi||8/0||6- 20||.300||0- 4||.000||4- 5||.800||4/ 0.5||16/ 2.0||9||1||2|
|Campbell||4/0||0- 8||.000||0- 2||.000||1- 2||.500||4/ 1.0||1/ 0.3||2||0||2|
|McWilliams||0/0||0- 0||.---||0- 0||.---||0- 0||.---||0/ 0.0||0/ 0.0||0||0||0|