In Rio this afternon, the young USA baby-ballers captured the 2007 Pan American Games Gold Medal (for the first time since 1987!) in a contest which, for 3 quarters at least, was a lot closer than its final score, 79-66. As a matter of fact, Brazil led the game at the end of 10, 20 & 30 minutes of play. But, in the final minutes, the young legs and the deep bench of the USA team proved too much for the older, more experienced Brazilians. The USA youngsters literally ran away from 38-year-old Janeth Arcain (who was playing her final game for her national team) and the rest of her teammates, outscoring the host team 30-13 in the final quarter.
The Scarlet Knights' Matee Ajavon led all scorers with 27 points, and Angel McCoughtry of Louisville (who will play for former Maryland Assistant Jeff Walz this fall) put up 17. Through the first four games of the tournament, Marissa Coleman played more minutes per game than practically any other USA player. Today, this being the 5th consecutive game, perhaps all those minutes finally caught up with Marissa, as she saw only limited action and scored just a single point.
Congratulations to Coach Staley and all the members of the USA's Gold Medal winning Pan American Team!
In case you're counting, that makes three Maryland starters sporting Gold Medals from their 2007 Summer Vacations!
Photo Credit: someone in Brazil!