Close Leads Team USA to Victory at FIBA U19 World Cup
Debrecen, Hungary – The Michael Price Family UCLA Women's Head Basketball Coach Cori Close led Team USA to the FIBA U19 World Cup title, as the Americans defeated Australia, 70-52, in the championship game on Sunday in Debrecen, Hungary.
The United States earned their second-straight U19 world title as the Americans won in 2019 after defeating Australia, 74-70, in the title game in Bangkok, Thailand. Close served as an Assistant Coach on the 2019 coaching staff with Head Coach Jeff Walz (Louisville) and Assistant Coach Natasha Adair (Delaware).
Team USA was led in the title game by North Carolina State's Diamond Johnson, who put up a team-high 15 points in just 15 minutes of action. The World Cup victory was the culmination of a dominant tournament for Close and the Americans, as the team won each of their first six games ahead of the championship by at least 30 points.
The 2021 victory marked the eighth title for Team USA in nine editions of the FIBA U19 World Cup.
Close led the Americans to a dominant stretch in the group stage phase of the tournament, as Team USA outscored its three opponents, 292-132. The U.S. cruised to victories over Italy (Aug. 7), Australia (Aug. 8), and Egypt (Aug. 10) with no opponent finishing within 40 points of the Americans.
Close and the United States kicked off the knockout stages with a 129-45 throttling of Chinese Taipei in the Round of 16, with the Americans setting a new single-game assists record (38) and tying the single-game tournament scoring record. Team USA then dismantled Spain in the quarterfinals with a 98-64 victory before downing host nation Hungary, 75-42, in the semifinals.