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USA U17 women win gold with 77-75 victory over Spain

USA women basketball U17 team eked out a 77-75 victory over Spain to claim the gold medal in the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship at Pilsen, Czech Republic, on July 6.

2016 prospect Lauren Cox neary recorded a triple-double in Team USA's 77-75 victory over Spain in the bgold medal game of the 2014 FIBA World Championships. Cox finished with 20 points, 12 boards and eight blocked shots.
2016 prospect Lauren Cox neary recorded a triple-double in Team USA's 77-75 victory over Spain in the bgold medal game of the 2014 FIBA World Championships. Cox finished with 20 points, 12 boards and eight blocked shots.espn.com

The gold medal is the USA’s (7-0) third straight in the event, which began in 2010. The red, white and blue are 23-0 all-time in the U17 competition.

However, Spain’s Angela Salvadores did not make a gold medal game easy for Team USA. The tournament’s MVP poured in 40 points to keep the Spaniards (6-1) close.

“It’s one of those games where as a coach you’re really happy to win, but you feel for the other team because ultimately that game could have gone either way, and I really want to credit Spain for a fabulous game,” said USA head coach sSue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.). “I feel very blessed that we’re on the winning side of things and so proud of the coaching staff and the players. It was just a great victory.”

2016 prospect Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas) led three USA players in double figures, falling just two blocked shots short of a triple-double. She finished with 20 points, 12 caroms and a U.S. U17 single-game record eight swats . 2015 prospect Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.) added 17 points and 2015 propect Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./ Milwaukee, Wis.) contributed 15 points and eight rebounds for the winners.

Maite Cazorla contributed 14 points for Spain on 5-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-9 from three-point land.She added five rebounds and three assists.

With the score knotted at 71-71 with 1:36 remaining, Cox and Durr went to work. Cox scored inside to put the USA in front at the 1:28 mark and then came up with a big blocked shot on the other end. Durr then hit a pull-up jumper to put the U.S. up 75-71.

After Durr’s bucket, Spain had a three-pointer wiped out due to an offensive foul.

Trailing 75-71, Salvadores scored on a driving lay-up to bring Spain within two with 10.1 seconds remaining. But Spain had to foul and Durr knocked down both of her free throws. Salvadore capped off her wonderful performance with a bucket at the buzzer.

Earlier on Sunday, Hungary (6-1) fought off the Czech Republic (4-3) 67-61 to win the bronze medal. Australia (6-1) defeated Canada (3-4) 69-39 to finish 5th and 6th, and Japan (4-3) edged France (3-4) 65-60 for 7th and 8th place, respectively.