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Cynthia Cooper goes up for a layup in the 1992 Olympics

Flashback: USA's Women fall to Unified Team in semifinals of the 1992 Olympics

  • Date:
    Aug 5, 1992

Owning an unblemished 3-0 record, the U.S. advanced to the semifinals. Meeting a strong Unified Team that entered the semifinal clash 2-1, a trip to the gold medal game was the reward for the victor.

Almost from the start the USA team found the game's pace slowed as the former Soviet squad ran its deliberate offense while sitting back defensively in a zone.

The USA opened a 22-15 ad­vantage with 11:37 remaining in the first half, but with 4:06 to go in the first half, the contest was even 33-33. The Unified women finished the first half in top form, outscoring the U.S. 14-8 to take a 47-41 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

The Unified team continued to roll and opened a 54-43 lead with over 16 minutes remaining. 

The USA squad came to life as its defense pressured the Unified team into some costly turnovers, Getting a needed spark from C.J. Jones who made her first appearance of the Olympics, the U.S. went on a 16-3 scoring spurt with Jones accounting for five points in the run as the U.S. took a narrow 57-55 lead. 

The game see-sawed back and forth and was tied 67-67 with 5:25 remaining. But a 6-0 scoring spurt by the Unified Team earned them a 73-67 advantage with 3:14 to play. A Suzie McConnell 3-pointer and three points from Clarissa Davis closed the gap to 76-73 with 1:09 to go. The U.S. defense made three steals in the next 30 seconds but was unable to score and the Unified Team made just enough of its free throws to claim the 79-73 victory.

Cold shooting doomed the U.S. as the Americans shot just 35.8% (29-81 FGs) from the field, 20% (5-20) from 3-point, and just 52.6% (10-19 FTs) from the foul stripe.
Medina Dixon again led the U.S. offense with 12 points, while Teresa Ed­wards and Davis each tallied 11 points, and Katrina McClain accounted for 10 points and 16 rebounds.

"There are no words, no special formula. No magic. It just didn't hap­pen. In sports, you have good days and bad days. Our bad day just hap­pened in front of the world. This is not the way we wanted to finish our fairy tale," admitted Theresa Grantz. "They (the Unified Team) took us out of our game. They forced us into a half-court game. Give credit to them, they did a great job. You gotta be able to knock it down and we missed a lot of cheapies inside." 

"We played as hard as we could," remarked Edwards. "Any time you step out on the floor, you can lose. We knew the Russians were good. But it (the loss) is very hard to swal­low. We chipped it back in the second half, but we couldn't get our lead to four points. We just couldn't get over the hump." 

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