EIGHTH PAN AMERICAN GAMES -- 1979
San Juan, Puerto Rico • July 1-15, 1979
Having captured the gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games, the 1979 United States team was optimistic of repeating the feat in 1979 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1979 USA RESULTS (5-1)
1979 PAN AM GAMES FINAL STANDINGS
The U.S. had good reason to be optimistic. After all, this same team had just two months earlier gone 5-1 to capture gold at the 1979 World Championship in South Korea. Then, weeks later, it compiled a 6-0 record en route to collecting a gold medal at the '79 R. William Jones Cup. It was an experienced team boasting of two 1976 Olympians, Nancy Lieberman and Ann Meyers.
But the USA's goal of sweeping the gold at the summer's three competitions was not realized as Cuba upended the Americans 91-86 to capture the gold.
The United States team, coached by 1976 Olympian and then University of Tennessee head mentor Pat Head, opened the '79 Pan American Games with a one-sided 124-69 rout of host Puerto Rico. UCLA's 6-foot-1 standout Denise Curry sank 12-of-14 field goal attempts to lead the U.S. with 27 points and Lieberman added 21 more.
Behind 28 points and 12 rebounds from 6-foot-1 Rosie Walker and 22 points and 11 boards from Curry, the U.S. slipped past Canada 99-89 for its second win. Bolivia was simply no match for the USA as the U.S. strolled to an 85-35 win in a game that saw 11 U.S. players score, including as team high 14 from Carol Blazejowski.
Relying on a balanced scoring attack that saw 11 of 12 U.S. players score, the U.S. rolled to a 92-58 win over Mexico. Barbara Brown came in off the bench to pace the U.S. with 16 points, and Blazejowski, Meyers and Jan Trombly added 12 points apiece.
The U.S. improved its record to 5-0 after easily defeating Brazil 111-73. Seven U.S. players scored in double figures, led by 16 points from Trombly and 15 points from Jackie Swaim.
The gold medal game featured a pair of undefeated teams in the United States and Cuba. The U.S. led at half 46-45, only to fall 91-86. Walker led all scorers with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Jill Rankin added 14 and Kris Kirchner and Lieberman contributed 13 points each. Free throw shooting may have done the USA women in against Cuba. The Americans connected on just 10-of-22 free throw attempts, while the Cubans hit 21-of-34 from the charity stripe.
For the 1979 Pan American Games, the U.S. was paced by its front court of Curry, Walker and Lieberman. Curry topped the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.8 ppg. and 7.2 rpg., while Walker averaged 12.8 ppg. and 5.3 rpg., and Lieberman chipped in 11.8 ppg and 6.0 rpg.
1979 USA WOMEN'S PAN AMERICAN GAMES TEAM ROSTER
|Carol Blazejowski||F||5-10||150||22||Montclair State Col.||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||22||Maryland||New Providence, NJ|
|Nancy Lieberman||F||5-10||150||21||Old Dominion||Dallas, TX|
|Ann Meyers||G||5-9||135||24||UCLA||La Habra, CA|
|Jill Rankin||F||6-3||166||20||Wayland Baptist||Borger, TN|
|Jackie Swaim||C||6-1||170||20||Texas||Jacksonville, TX|
|Jan Trombly||F||6-0||155||22||Old Dominion||Chazy, NY|
|Rosie Walker||C||6-1||180||21||Stephen F. Austin State||Emerson, AZ|
|Holly Warlick||G||5-6||130||21||Tennessee||Anderson, SC|
|HEAD COACH: Pat Head, University of Tennessee|
|ASSISTANT COACH: Betty Jo Graber, Weatherford College (TX)|
|MANAGER: Lea Plarski, St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley (MO)|
|ATHLETIC TRAINER: Sherry Kosek, Stanford University (CA)|
1979 USA WOMEN'S PAN AMERICAN GAMES TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Curry||5||30- 47||.638||9- 11||.818||36/ 7.2||69/ 13.8||2|
|Walker||6||27- 41||.659||23- 46||.500||32/ 5.3||77/ 12.8||0|
|Lieberman||6||31- 58||.534||9- 11||.818||36/ 6.0||71/ 11.8||8|
|Blazejowski||6||27- 68||.397||7- 11||.636||12/ 2.0||61/ 10.2||4|
|Meyers||6||25- 51||.490||6- 13||.462||15/ 2.5||56/ 9.3||10|
|Trombly||6||21- 32||.656||12- 17||.706||11/ 1.8||54/ 9.0||4|
|Swaim||6||21- 25||.840||11- 18||.611||12/ 2.0||53/ 8.8||5|
|Brown||5||18- 29||.621||6- 11||.545||15/ 3.0||42/ 8.4||0|
|Rankin||6||23- 40||.575||1- 2||.500||21/ 3.5||47/ 7.8||2|
|Heiss||6||16- 27||.593||6- 9||.667||0/ 0.0||38/ 6.3||13|
|Kirchner||6||10- 27||.370||5- 11||.455||17/ 2.8||25/ 4.2||1|
|Warlick||6||2- 14||.143||0- 0||.---||5/ 0.8||4/ 0.7||7|
|USA||6||251-459||.547||95-160||.594||212/ 35.3||597/ 99.5||56|
|OPP.||6||153-369||.415||109-171||.637||93/ 15.5||415/ 69.2||39|