UConn's future and past on display
Faris averaged 4.6 points, 4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals in the five games as the U.S. extended its winning streak in the Under-19 Championship for Women qualifier to 19 games.
Stanford incoming freshman Nneka Ogwumike had 20 points and set a U.S. Under-18 tournament single-game record with 15 rebounds as the U.S. won the gold medal for the fifth time in the event's seven-year history. Kelsey Bone (12 points, nine rebounds) and Skylar Diggins (11 points, four assists, two steals), two of the top targets on UConn's recruiting radar, also scored in double figures for the U.S. The United States qualified for next year's U-19 event along with Canada, Brazil and Argentina.
Diggins averaged 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2 steals a game while Bone averaged 10.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1 block per contest. Ogwumike led the U.S. in scoring (12.6) and rebounding (8).
Faris is the eighth UConn recruit to play for the U.S. in the event since 1992. Rebecca Lobo was a member of the silver-medal winning 1992 team, Stacy Hansmeyer was on the 1996 squad which finished second. Diana Taurasi and Ashley Battle helped the U.S. squad, which was coached by Geno Auriemma, to the gold medal in 2000, Charde Houston was a member of the 2004 championship squad while Tina Charles and Maya Moore helped the U.S. win the gold medal in 2006.
"Winning a gold medal kind of makes you speechless," Faris said. "Not only did we win the gold medal for us, but every person who saw us wanted us to win it for them too. It's an accomplishment that a lot of people don't have a chance to experience, and it feels good."
While a future Husky was helping the U.S. to a perfect record, it was a busy day in the WNBA for ex-UConn stars as every UConn product in the league was in action on Sunday.
Asjha Jones led the way with 27 points in Connecticut's 82-60 win at Washington. Former Huskies Barbara Turner (five points, three rebounds), Tamika Raymond (three points, five rebounds) and Ketia Swanier (three points, three rebounds, three assists) helped Connecticut head into the month-long Olympic break on a three-game winning streak. With Detroit's loss to San Antonio, the Sun went into the break in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Ashley Battle had five points, two rebounds and two steals in New York's 86-76 win over Atlanta. Ann Strother had five points, one rebound and one block for Atlanta.
Kelly Schumacher, recently signed by Detroit following the season-ending knee injury to Cheryl Ford, had four points, four rebounds and two assists in her debut with the Shock. However, it wasn't enough as Detroit lost to San Antonio 76-64. In Los Angeles' 92-84 overtime win at Minnesota, Jessica Moore had seven points for Los Angeles while Charde Houston had 15 points for Minnesota.
Diana Taurasi had 25 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals but Phoenix fell to Indiana 88-84 in what could be a costly loss as the defending WNBA champions will head into the Olympic break three games behind fourth-place Los Angeles for the final Western Conference playoff spot with just seven games remaining.
Sue Bird, who along with Taurasi will be a member of the U.S. Olympic team, had 24 points and three assits while Swin Cash had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in a 77-71 win over Sacramento.
Twelve of the league's 14 teams were on the court on the final day before the Olympic break. It was the first time all season that every team with a Connecticut product was in action on the same day.