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Sunday, July 30, 2017

UConn's Dangerfield, Walker part of silver-medal winning U.S. U-19 team

Crystal Dangerfield and Megan Walker will be returning to the UConn campus with silver medals after Russia rallied for an 86-82 victory in the FIBA U19 World Cup gold-medal game on Sunday.

Dangerfield had 10 points in the first five minutes to stake the U.S. jumped out to an early eight-point lead. Dangerfield, a rising sophomore guard at UConn, shook off some recent shooting struggles to make her first four field-goal attempts. However, she had difficulty finding the range as she missed 14 of her final 16 shots as her attempt to become the fifth U.S. women's player to win two U19 gold medals came up just short.

Dangerfield finished with 15 points, two rebounds, two assists and three steals. Texas A&M incoming freshman Chennedy Carter set a U19 women's tournament single-game record with 31 points and Texas sophomore Alecia Sutton had 11 points but it wasn't enough to prevent the U.S. from suffering its first women's U19 defeat since a loss to Canada in pool play in the 2011 event.

"Every time we would get a lead, they would find a way to answer it and go on a run of their own," Dangerfield said. "They played until the last buzzer went off. It was kind of like 2015, just going back and forth, but it was just a different outcome."
 

Russia's 6-foot-4 forwards Raisa Musina and Maria Vadeeva combined for 59 points and 29 rebounds as Russia ended the hopes of the U.S. for a seventh consecutive gold medal.

Musina had 33 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while Vadeeva finished with 26 points, 18 rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots.

Carter's 31 points broke the U.S. single-game record of 30 set by A'ja Wilson against Russia in the 2015 gold-medal game. South Carolina's Tyasha Harris had nine assists giving her a U.S. U-19 record 40 in the seven games.

Dangerfield averaged 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals while leading the U.S. with an average of 26.2 minutes per game.

Walker, who played just four minutes in the gold-medal game, averaged 7.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in the tournament.

The U.S. won gold medals in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. The last time the U.S. failed to win a gold medal in the event was in 2001 when the team's leading scorer was UConn legend Diana Taurasi and the team was coached by Geno Auriemma.That 2001 team not only featured Taurasi, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, but No. 4 all-time scorer Cappie Pondexter and Alana Beard, fourth on the WNBA's career steals list.

A pair of 2017 New Haven Register All-State selections had double-doubles in Puerto Rico's 61-58 loss to Mali in the 13th-place game.

Former New London High star India Pagan recorded her second straight double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds while fellow All-State selection Angelique Rodriguez, a member of two state championship teams at Capital Prep, had 15 points, 10 rebounds and two assists.

Rodriguez led Puerto Rico in scoring, averaging 14.6 points per game as she scored in double figures in six of the seven games. Rodriguez had 23 3-pointers and shot 44.2 percent from 3-point range. Pagan averaging 10.1 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds per game. Pagan averaged 20.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in the final three games.

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