Lady Vol rising senior Cierra Burdick won her fourth international gold medal Sunday with a 15-8 win over Russa at the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship.
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(USA Basketball Release)-- With a 15-8 win over host Russia (8-1) in the gold medal game of the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship on Sunday night in Moscow, the USA Women's 3x3 World Championship Team captured a second-straight FIBA 3x3 World Championship title with an unblemished 9-0 record.
"We came together," said Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina/Charlotte, N.C.). "We've had to play tough the whole time. A lot of teams played us physical, and I think we stuck together through the adversity. We knew the tough plays were going to come, so we just stayed together and kept our heads."
The USA advanced to the final by beating Belgium (8-1) 18-14 in the semifinals. While the Americans led from nearly start to finish, the game was tied at 13-all with just over a minute to play before the USA put together a 5-1 run to close out the win.
In the championship contest, the Americans trailed 1-0 in the first minute before outscoring Russia 7-2 to lead 8-3 at 4:33 when Russia called a timeout. From there, the USA's lead never diminished. The U.S. women now have captured gold at the two FIBA 3x3 World Championships that have taken place since the inaugural event in 2012.
In the women's bronze medal game, Belgium defeated Czech Republic (7-2) 14-12.
Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame/Lincolnwood, Ill.), who qualified for the finals of the skills contest with the fastest time, finished tied for a bronze medal with Fleur Devillers (France). The skills contest gold medal went to Valentina Baldelli (Italy) and the silver to Hind Abdelkader (Belgium).
Joining Loyd and Mitchell on the U.S. women's team were Cierra Burdick (Tennessee/Charlotte, N.C.) andSara Hammond (Louisville/Mt. Vernon, Ky.).
"It just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter," said Burdick, who collected her fourth international gold medal. "Every gold medal has its own moments and special experiences. But it is more intimate, I would say, with this group. There are just three on the court at a time and four of us together, one coach – we are a close-knit group. I'm just grateful the opportunity."
The USA Men's Demetrius Miller (Flint. Mich.) won a bronze medal in the dunk contest, while Firas Lahyani(Tunisia) won the event and Yan Pengfie (China) took silver.
"It meant the world to get a bronze medal," Miller said. "It's great to be able to represent my country and be able to medal, and be able to give something back to the USA.
"It was fun. I put down a couple of nice dunks, and that is all that matters," the 6-foot-1 Miller said of the contest. "I went out there and gave all I could. I missed the finals by one-point."
In the men's FIBA 3x3 World Championship, the USA was eliminated after falling in a tightly contested game against Serbia in the Round of 16 on June 7. In today's action, Serbia (7-2) went on to reach the gold medal game, where it lost to Qatar (7-2) 18-13. Russia (6-3) earned the bronze medal with a 19-18 win against Lithuania (6-3).
Alongside Miller on the U.S. men's team were Mack Darrow (Newport, Calif.), Craig Moore (New York, N.Y.). and Jitim Young (Chicago, Ill.).
In addition to the dunk and skills contests, included in the 2014 3x3 World Championship program were a shootout contest and free throw pursuit. In the shootout, the top finisher was Daniel Hure (Argentina), followed by Sarah Kershaw (Switzerland) and a tie for bronze between Yurena Diaz (Spain) and Christian Gunawan (Indonesia). In the free throw pursuit, gold, silver and bronze went to Angel Santana (Romania), Ann Wauters (Belgium) and Amaya Gastaminza (Spain), respectively.
The 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship featured 24 men's teams and 24 women's teams, and was just the second edition of the biennial event.
In addition to the USA Basketball 3x3 squad, nations competing for the men's 2014 3x3 World Championship gold medal were: Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, host Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela; while in addition to the USA team, the women's field included Andorra, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, host Russia, Spain, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda and Uruguay.
At the inaugural 2012 FIBA 3x3 World Championship that was held in Athens, Greece, the USA women's team, featuring Skylar Diggins, Bria Hartley, Chiney Ogwumike and Ann Strother, captured the gold medal with a perfect 9-0 record, France took silver and Australia earned the bronze medal. The USA men's team, featuringAdetayo Adesanya, Ira Brown, Tyree Hardge and Allen DuBois Williams finished with a 7-2 record and in seventh place. Earning the men's gold was Serbia, while France collected silver and Ukraine went home with the bronze medal.
In the skills competition, Adesanya collected a silver medal in the dunk contest, while Diggins claimed silver in the skills challenge.