Gray-Lawson and the U.S. Team Take Gold at World University Games
July 13, 2009
BELGRADE, SERBIA -
California Golden Bear senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson and the United States team swept through the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia, securing the gold medal with an 83-64 victory over Russia on Saturday, July 11.
Gray-Lawson started three of the seven games for Team USA. She scored in all seven games, averaging over 20 minutes of playing time. She finished the tournament averaging 7.9 points per game with 4.3 rebound per contest. Gray-Lawson also had nine assists and ten steals in her gold-medal performance.
'It feels great,' Gray-Lawson said when asked what it was like to win the gold medal. 'It's like the greatest feeling in the world. We've been waiting a long time to do this and obviously we might never get this opportunity again. We thought that we should take full advantage of it.'
Less than a minute into the gold medal game, Tine Charles had put a quick four points up on the board, but Russia answered with a 3-pointer at 8:41 and the score was 4-3 in the USA's favor early on. From there, the USA answered each Russian score until the 2:33 mark, when four straight points from Russia's Elena Danilochkina gave Russia its first lead, 17-16. Russia went on to score five more points to the USA's four to close the period up 22-20. It was the first time the Americans had trailed after the first quarter in all seven games of the tournament.
Russia strung together a 6-0 run to start the second quarter and pushed its lead to the largest of the game, 28-20, at the 8:18 mark. A Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford / Brea, Calif.) 3-pointer at 7:15, followed by a steal and fast-beak bucket from Pohlen at the 6:55 mark, however, launched a 19-3 run that recaptured the U.S. lead, and the games momentum. The streak included points from six U.S. players, and by halftime, the USA had erased the deficit and built an eight-point, 39-31 lead.