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  • Date:
    Aug 8, 2011

Mexico City, Mexico • March 12-26, 1955

1955 marked the first year of competition for women's basketball in the Pan American Games. The United States opened the competition by advancing through the field with a perfect 8-0 record to claim the first Pan American Games women's basketball gold medal.

1955 USA RESULTS (8-0)
USA 51 Brazil 45
USA 53 Mexico 49
USA 73 Chile 53
USA 46 Canada 25
USA 62 Brazil 43
USA 63 Mexico 35
USA 62 Chile 43
USA 61 Canada 39


1. United States (8-0)
2. Chile (5-3)
3. Brazil (4-4)
4. Mexico (3-5)
5. Canada (0-8)

Two preliminary tryouts for the 1955 USA women's team were held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Canyon, Texas. The top four teams from those two sites then met in Hutchinson, Kansas, for the finals. Hanes Hosiery Mills (Winston-Salem, N.C.) finished first, Wayland College Flying Queens (Texas) were second, the Dons of Kansas City, Missouri, placed third and Dowell's Dolls (Amarillo, Texas) finished fourth. The USA squad consisted of players from these four teams.

With a total of five teams competing in the inaugural women's Pan American Games basketball competition, a double round-robin schedule was established, with a game consisting of four quarters.

The USA team, directed by head coach Caddo Mathews, trailed 30-20 against Brazil at halftime in the competition opener, and lagged behind 41-34 at the end of three quarters. Rallying in the fourth quarter to pull out a 51-45 victory over Brazil, 5'8' Lurlyne Greer Mealhouse scored a team-high 15 points. Behind 21 points from Mealhouse, and a record 17 of 17 shooting from the foul line by the U.S. team, the USA held off a determined Mexico 53-49. For the third consecutive game, Mealhouse led the U.S. offensive attack, accounting for 20 points, as the USA rolled over Chile 73-53. Limiting Canada to just two first quarter points, Ruth Cannon was the only player to score in double figures as she finished with 11 points to lead the Americans to a 46-25 win against Canada and improve the USA's record to 4-0.

Mealhouse erupted for 30 points, 13 coming from the foul line, in a 62-43 win over Brazil, and the U.S. captured a 63-35 win over host Mexico as Rita Alexander scored 13 and Mealhouse added 12 points. Claiming a 62-43 victory over Chile as Mealhouse scored 21 points and Ruth Cannon added 17, the American women kept their record perfect with a 61-39 win over Canada in the finale. Jumping out to a 22-10 lead after the first quarter, 11 of the USA's 12 players scored with Mealhouse leading the way over the Canadians with 12 points and Eunice Futch added 10.

By capturing the first gold medal,and recording convincing tournament victories over Chile and Brazil (the silver and bronze medal winners), the USA had staked its claim as a basketball power and made it certain that the U.S. would be the team the other nations would look to beat in 1959.

Mealhouse finished the 1955 Games as the only U.S. player to average in double figures, posting an 17.5 ppg. average. Her 140 points scored still rank as the most ever for a U.S. player in Pan Am competition.


Rita Alexander G 5-5
19 Wayland College Flying Queens Coppell, TX
Ruby Cannon G 5-3
21 Wayland College Flying Queens Cotton Center, TX
Ruth Cannon G 5-7
21 Wayland College Flying Queens Cotton Center, TX
Eunies Futch C 6-1
26 Hanes Hosiery Mills Winston-Salem, NC
Evelyn Jordan G 5-3
29 Hanes Hosiery Mills Winston-Salem, NC
Edith Kline F 5-8
22 Midland Jewelry Kansas City, MO
Lurlyne Greer Mealhouse F 5-8
26 Haines Hosiery (Little Rock J. C.) Desarc, AR
Lometa Odom F 5-11
21 Wayland College Flying Queens Topeka, KS
Barbara Ann Sipes C 6-1
19 K. C. Dons (Iowa Wesleyan Coll.) Dexter, IA
Maurienne Smithson F 5-11
22 Wayland College Flying Queens Summit, TX
Jo Helen White F 5-10
20 Dowell's Dolls (West Texas St.) Quail, TX
Faye Wilson F 5-8
21 Wayland College Flying Queens Duncanville, TX
HEAD COACH: Caddo Mathews, Wayland College Flying Queens (TX)
MANAGER: Lillian Van Blarcom, AAU (Wichita, KS)
CAPTAIN: Lurlyne Greer Mealhouse


L. Greer Mealhouse 8 42-
56- 89 .629 140/ 17.5
Ruth Cannon 8 28-
10- 21 .476 66/ 8.3
Rita Alexander 8 22-
12- 14 .857 56/ 7.0
Ruby Cannon 8 18-
11- 17 .647 47/ 5.9
Faye Wilson 8 11-
15- 25 .600 37/ 4.6
Eunies Futch 8 17-
2- 4 .500 36/ 4.5
Lometa Odom 8 10-
5- 17 .294 25/ 3.1
Barbara Ann Sipes 8 11-
0- 7 .000 22/ 2.8
Evelyn Jordan 8 8-
2- 4 .500 18/ 2.3
Jo Helen White 8 7-
4- 6 .667 18/ 2.3
Edith Kline 5 2-
1- 2 .500 5/ 1.0
Maurienne Smithson 4 0-
1- 4 .250 1/ 0.3
8 176-
119-206 .578 471/ 58.9
8 124-
84-171 .491 332/ 41.5

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