U.S. Wins Fourth Straight At Pan Am Games

Aug. 6, 2003

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - If Funny Cide were to race a Clydesdale, the contest would look something like the basketball game between the USA Basketball Women's Pan American Games team (4-1) and the host Dominican Republic (0-5). The North Americans completed pool play by running away with a 109-54 win at J.P. Duarte Center in Santo Domingo Wednesday evening.

The top four teams after preliminary round action advance to the medal semifinals and the USA now faces a rematch with Brazil (4-1) on Friday evening in one medal round semifinal, while Cuba (4-1) will meet Canada (2-3) to determine which teams will vie for the gold medal on Saturday. With Brazil's 79-70 upset of Cuba today, the USA, Cuba and Brazil all finished with identical 4-1 records. Based on the FIBA tie-breaking formula (point differential between tied teams), Cuba got the first place nod, Brazil second, and the USA third after preliminary play.

'This was a good game to work on some things,' said USA and University of Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan. 'It built confidence and kept our offense rolling. I was pleased overall with the game. There was no let-down.'

The Americans rewrote single game records for most assists with 32, and most 3-pointers made (12) and attempted (20). The old assist mark was 29, set against Peru in 1987, and the trey marks were seven and 14, respectively, against Cuba in 1991.

Laurie Koehn (Kansas State / Hesston, Kan.) tied the USA single game record for 3-pointers made in the first half alone, notching three in the final 3:44 of the first quarter. She then added three more and a layup to score 20 points in the first two quarters and lead the USA to a 53-22 halftime margin. Entering the game with 4:00 left in the first quarter, Koehn scored all 20 of her points in what amounted to a one-quarter span, notching her 20th at the 3:53 mark in the second quarter to make the score 49-17. Koehn's eight 3-point attempts tied the single game record set by Teresa Edwards in 1991 against Cuba, while her six made treys broke Edwards' record of four set in the same game.

The Dominicans could put together back-to-back baskets on only two occasions as the USA regularly fashioned six- and eight-point runs. The third quarter featured the scoring of Jenni Benningfield (Vanderbilt / Louisville, Ky.) and Ann Strother (Connecticut / Castle Rock, Colo.), who each had 10 points in the period as the USA pushed its lead to 81-34 after three quarters.

The fourth quarter was highlighted by Iciss Tillis (Duke / Tulsa, Okla.), who had 10 in that stanza. Lindsay Taylor (UC Santa Barbara / Chandler, Ariz.) and Koehn each contributed six points in the final 10 minutes. The 109 points was the highest USA offensive output in the Pan American Games since its 111-87 win over Brazil for the gold medal in the 1987 Games in Indianapolis.

Koehn led all scorers with 23 points, followed by Benningfield's 21. Strother and Tillis ended the game with 12 points apiece. Loree Moore (Tennessee / Harbor City, Calif.) had five rebounds to share game high honors with Dominican's Sugeiry Monsac. The hosts were led in scoring by by Juana Duran, who had 22 points.

Stanford senior-to-be Nicole Powell (Phoenix, AZ) played 14 minutes off the bench and scored two points on 1-of-3 from the floor. She also had six assists, a steal, two fouls and a turnover.

The USA shot a sizzling 64.1 percent (41-64 FGs) from the field, including a stellar 60.0 percent (12-20 3pt FGs) from beyond the arc, while its defense limited the Dominicans to just 35.1 percent (20-57 FGs) overall and 8.3 percent (1-12 3pt FGs) from 3-point. Further, the U.S. dominated on the glass, 34-19.

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