U.S., Bashaara Graves to play for U19 gold

Lady Vols forward Bashaara Graves (12) tries to snag a rebound as Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel (23) defends in the first half of the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., Tuesday, April 2, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Lady Vols forward Bashaara Graves (12) tries to snag a rebound as Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel (23) defends in the first half of the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., Tuesday, April 2, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Team USA advanced to the U19 World Championship final Saturday and Brianna Stewart led the way.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball star had game highs for points (23) and rebounds (eight) in a 77-54 semifinal victory over Australia in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

The U.S. (8-0) will play France Sunday in search of its fifth consecutive U19 gold medal. France beat Spain 62-58 in the other semifinal.

Tennessee sophomore forward Bashaara Graves scored five points and grabbed three rebounds for the U.S. Graves missed most of the first half after picking up two fouls.

Stewart scored the first nine points of a 21-0 scoring run that capped the first half.

“Obviously that second quarter, that was one of the most thrilling moments in coaching ever,” said U.S. coach Katie Meier, the head coach at Miami (Fla.). “That run, that 21-0 run was just so hard earned. It didn’t come easy.”

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Comments » 5

mogreer_tn#213464 writes:

Currently watching game online espn.com http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player?i...

This is a terribly played game, they look like young high schoolers.

mogreer_tn#213464 writes:

Congrats to the U19 USA Lady's Gold Medal 61 to 28 final score

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mogreer_tn#213464:

Currently watching game online espn.com http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player?i...

This is a terribly played game, they look like young high schoolers.

That's what happens sometimes in that international ball. I go back and forth on the value of it. On the one hand, the travel; meeting other players; practicing, and sometimes playing, against good competition; learning insights from different coaches; etc., are all positives, for one's development as a person as much as a player. On the other hand, there is the risk of illness or injury; not really fitting the vision of the coach and the rest of the players, thus not getting real work at one's college position; not having time for concentrated work on one's own fundamentals--these are possible negatives. All I want at this point is for Bashaara to come home healthy and looking forward to the season with the LVs. We'll soon see just how much benefit she got out of her summer.

switcher76 writes:

Graves is a great player but she is going to have to tone down the fouls. They are gonna need her on the floor not on the bench this season. Go Lady Vols!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to switcher76:

Graves is a great player but she is going to have to tone down the fouls. They are gonna need her on the floor not on the bench this season. Go Lady Vols!

Good point, but at least she won't be the only true post player on the team this year, as she was when Harrison got hurt last year. Of course you want a post player to play hard without fouling, but with Russell coming in, Bashaara can continue to play hard and physical without much dropoff if she has to go to the bench. Her aggressiveness and tenacity are key to her success as a player, but yeah, a bit more finesse and efficiency wouldn't hurt, either.

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