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USA World Championships-- Onto the Gold Medal Round!

The USA Young Women's World Championship team has advanced to the Gold Medal Round against Brazil, the only team to beat
them in preliminary rounds. This came after beating a usually
high-scoring Australian squad in the quarterfinals and a strong host Croatian team in the last game of the qualifying round.
Alana Beard has struggled in all three of these games, though her overall stats are still impressive. She's second on the
team in scoring with 8.9 ppg, leads in assists with 12, and steals with 21
(3 per game). However, she's shooting just 41% from the field and 42%
from the foul line, which is quite uncharacteristic for a career 78%
shooter. Against Croatia, she had 6 points on 2-8 shooting, 1 rebound, 2
assists and 4 steals. Against the Sapphires, she had 8 points, 3 boards, 3 steals and 4
turnovers. She was just 3-9 from the line in this contest. Against the
French, she had 6 points on 3-10 shooting, 5 boards, an
assist and 2 steals. Her defense certainly hasn't been affected by her
offensive slump, and the team has had success finding offense from other
quarters. Brazil will be quite a familiar opponent, one that the US beat
twice in friendlies and lost to in the earlier round. Their strength lies
in their powerful front line, and the US will need solid play from its
frontcourt as well as a big contribution from Beard.