Kazan, Russia — Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper scored nine points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in her first international start Monday, helping the U.S. women’s basketball team win its third straight gold medal at the World University Games with a 90-71 victory over Russia.
Hooper, a 6-foot-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., scored seven first-quarter points, including the game’s first 3-pointer, to help Team USA take a 22-13 lead at the end of the quarter. She played the entire first period and finished with 31 minutes.
Hooper had averaged 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds while playing 12.6 minutes per game in the team’s first five wins. Her performance Monday raised her tournament averages to 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 15.7 minutes.
The Russians trimmed the U.S. lead to 25-21 with Hooper on the bench early in the second quarter. The U.S. went on a 7-0 run after Hooper returned to the court, and she had an assist on a corner 3 from Central Michigan’s Crystal Bradford that gave the U.S. a 38-25 lead with 2:43 left in the half.
With Hooper keying the defense, the U.S. surrendered just six points in the final seven-plus minutes of the half.
Nebraska’s two-time All-American played every minute of the third quarter, helping the U.S. build a 68-47 lead heading into the fourth. Her final bucket came with 7:30 left in the game, giving the Americans a 75-55 lead.
Team USA connected on 35 of 57 shots, including 9 of 20 3-pointers. The U.S. squad also hit 11 of 15 free throws.
UConn’s Bria Hartley led the U.S. in scoring with 17 points, while Bradford came off the bench to score 16 points in 11 minutes. Tournament MVP Odyssey Sims of Baylor contributed 10 points and three assists.
Russia hit 27 of 65 shots from the field, but was 5 of 24 from 3-point range. Natalia Vieru, a 2012 Russia Olympian, led the team with 13 points.