Delle Donne and Team USA Claim World University Games Gold 101-66 Over Taiwan
August 21, 2011
Photo Courtesy of USA Basketball
SHENZHEN, China – For a record-setting eighth time, members of the Team USA women’s basketball squad climbed to the top of the World University Games podium to collect their Gold Medals.
Team USA, paced by University of Delaware junior Elena Delle Donne, defeated Taiwan 101-66 on Sunday in the title game to cap a perfect tournament performance.
Delle Donne nearly had a triple double against Taiwan, putting up 18 points with 11 rebounds and eight assists. The 6-5 All-American was sharp from the floor, hitting eight of her 14 field goal attempts.
The Wilmington, Del. native was a big factor in Team USA going 6-0 at the tournament, averaging a team-best 15.7 points per game. Delle Donne hit 45.1 percent of her field goals (37-82), including 44.0 percent of her three pointers (11-25).
Not only did Delle Donne lead the team in points, but she also averaged a team-best 8.5 rebounds per game.
"Words cannot even describe how incredible that felt," said Delle Donne after winning the Gold. "It felt really heavy for one thing. It’s an incredible medal. We worked so hard these past three weeks. I really can’t even describe it. This has been a journey of a lifetime, and as coach said to us, ‘this hasn’t been just a three-month experience, it started from when we were young little girls growing up, dreaming of a moment like this.’ So, it’s incredible."
In the Gold Medal game, Team USA put together a strong defensive stand, allowing Taiwan to reach 20-plus points in a quarter just once, posting 21 points in the first quarter.
“To our kids’ credit, we added an offense on our off day because we knew we had a size advantage,” said Bill Fennelly, USA World University Games Team and Iowa State University head coach. “We just wanted to pound it at them and we did. The kids were unselfish. We kept throwing it on the block and got a lot of easy baskets.”
Delle Donne helped lead Team USA above the century mark three times during the tournament, knocking off Brazil 112-53 and Slovakia 114-68 in pool play along with Sunday’s victory over Taiwan.
She will now return home to the United States, begin classes next week, and rejoin her Delaware teammates. The Blue Hens kick off the 2011-12 season on Nov. 11 when they host Rhode Island at the Bob Carpenter Center.