KAZAN, Russia – LSU senior forward Theresa Plaisance scored eight points in a starting role and USA Basketball used a 17-2 third-quarter run to pull away from Sweden for a 103-72 win to advance to the semifinals of the World University Games on Friday in Russia.
Plaisance played 10 minutes and finished a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor with two rebounds and an assist. In four contests at the World University Games, the New Orleans native is putting up 5.8 points and 5.8 boards per game.
“Sweden brought a lot of physicality and a lot of height,” said Plaisance. “Going against No. 10 (Danielle Hamilton Carter), she was a great competitor; she did a lot of things in the low post and high post that were challenging for us defensively. They were very consistent with their gameplan and stayed strong the whole time which was tough for us to play against.”
A battle of unbeatens will face off in the semifinals as the USA (4-0) takes on Australia (4-0), who was a 72-58 winner over Canada. Tipoff for the semifinal is at noon CT Saturday live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com.
On Friday, the USA took a 51-40 lead into halftime, which Sweden quickly cut into to bring the score to 53-49 with 6:38 left in the third quarter. The game remained tight, with Sweden trailing 58-52 at the five-minute mark, before the USA put the clamps on defensively and went on a 17-2 run.
“The difference was definitely rebounding,” said Plaisance. “We struggled in the first half, letting them get too many offensive rebounds. They had 14 in the first half and we shouldn’t give up that many the entire game.”
The USA is looking for its third straight gold medal at the World University Games women’s basketball competition and ninth overall.
Plaisance begins her senior season at LSU this fall as a 2014 National Player of the Year candidate. She led the Southeastern Conference in scoring with 14.0 points per game as a junior.
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