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USA Basketball Wins Gold Behind Five Former UConn Women’s Basketball Stars, Breanna Stewart Named MVP (Again)

The Year of Breanna Stewart continues.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

On Sunday afternoon, USA Basketball won their third straight World Cup, defeating Australia in the final game 73-56. All five former UConn women’s basketball stars on the World Cup roster contributed to the finals win. Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart, Tina Charles and Morgan Tuck collectively contributed 37 of the United States’ 73 points.

Following the final game, Stewart and Taurasi were both named to the World Cup All-Star five. Stewart was also named the tournament’s MVP, picking up her third MVP award in the last month. She was also named the WNBA regular season and finals MVP earlier in September.

When asked about winning the MVP award, Stewart noted, “It was surprising, but it goes to show the hard work that I put in this whole year. The gold medal is the most important thing.”

Stewart scored 98 points in the 6 game tournament, which ranked fourth among all players. She also averaged 6.3 rebounds per game, and shot 58 percent from the floor including 47 percent from beyond the arc. In the United States’ closest game, a match up with China in the group stage, Stewart led her team to victory behind 23 points on 75 percent shooting from the floor.

Sue Bird also added some more records to her career on Sunday. Playing in her fifth World Cup, she became the first player in history to collect four World Cup golds. She also set a new World Cup all-time assist record, surpassing current coach Dawn Staley’s record. Fittingly, the record-breaking assist came on a pass to Taurasi for a three-pointer.

“Of course it’s fitting,” Bird said. “How do I talk about five World Cups, four gold medals in those five opportunities and not talk about Diana?”

This gold medal automatically qualifies USA Basketball for the 2020 Olympics, where former Huskies will no doubt play a large role in leading the United States’ to another gold.