US Team Advances to Medal Semi-Final as Undefeated No. 1 Seed

July 7, 2009

BELGRADE, SERBIA -

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Led by 20 points from Tina Charles (Connecticut / Jamaica, N.Y.), the 2009 USA Women's World University Games Team (5-0) featured five players in double figures as it crushed Czech Republic (4-1) 115-78 on Tuesday afternoon in Belgrade, Serbia.The USA advances to the medal semifinals as Group E's No. 1 seed, and will play No. 2 seeded Australia (4-1) at 5:30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. EDT) on Thursday, July 9. Also today, Russia (5-0) beat Australia (4-1) to secure Group F's No. 1 seed and will play Czech Republic at 8:00 p.m. on July 9th. The two semifinal winners will meet in the July 11th gold medal game at 3:00 p.m. (9:00 a.m. EDT), while the semifinal losers will battle for the bronze medal at 12:30 p.m. on the 11th.

California Golden Bear guard Alexis Gray-Lawson came off the bench in the game, scoring four points with two rebounds in 17 minutes of play. It was the first game this tournament that Gray-Lawson was not part of the United States' starting lineup.

With the exception of a 6-0 U.S. run in the first quarter that included Hayes' first 3-pointer, the game's first 10 minutes were evenly matched, and the scoreboard read 28-20 in the USA's favor at the first break.

Czech put the second period's first points on the board at 9:51, but the USA responded with a 13-0 run that included five points from Charles and prompted a Czech timeout at 5:53, when Lavender converted a steal and an assist from McCray. The timeout did not slow the Americans, however, as the USA went on to shoot a sizzling 14-of-18 from the field (.778) in second period to outscore Czech 35-17 and take an insurmountable 63-37 lead into the halftime locker room.

Czech Republic, which was led by 18 points from Romana Hejdova, refused to quit in the second half, but could not counter the USA's size or speed. The USA won the battle of the boards 51-21, converted 16 points off turnovers and finished with a 58.9 shooting percentage from field (43-73 FGs).

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