BERKELEY - Reshanda Gray and the United States advanced to the World University Games gold medal mach after posting a thrilling 79-78 victory over Australia Saturday in Kazan, Russia.
Despite leading by as many as 17 points during the fourth quarter, the USA (5-0) found themselves trailing Australia (4-1) by one point in the final seconds before Crystal Bradford scored what would be the game-winning basket on a put-back with 14 seconds left.
The USA advances to the gold-medal match on Monday, July 15, at 9:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. PT) where they will face host Russia (5-0), who reached the final by defeating Taiwan (4-1) by a score of 69-51 earlier today. Monday's gold-medal match will air live on ESPNU (10:30 a.m. PT).
After letting a 71-54 lead with under seven minutes left in the game slip away, the USA trailed 78-77 when they forced a 24-second violation to regain possession with 29 seconds remaining. After a U.S. timeout, Bradford drove the lane and sidestepped a defender to free herself for a lay-up attempt. The first try rimmed out, but Bradford collected her own miss and finished the put-back to put the USA ahead 79-78 with 14 seconds left.
The USA is looking for its third-straight gold medal at the World University Games women's basketball competition, and ninth overall.