ACC Student-Athletes, Coach Lead USA to FIBA U19 World Championship

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Four Atlantic Coast Conference women’s basketball players and Louisville head coach Jeff Walz led Team USA to its sixth straight FIBA U19 World Championship. 

Azura Stevens (Duke), Shakyla Thomas (Florida State), Mariya Moore (Louisville) and Ali Patberg (Notre Dame) helped Team USA win seven straight games, including a 78-70 triumph over Russia Sunday in the championship game. 

The U.S. topped Spain (72-57), China (88-62) and Egypt (104-41) in the group stage before knocking out Argentina (89-39) in the Round of 16, Canada (93-45) in the quarterfinals, Spain (80-65) in the semifinals and Russia (78-70) in the championship.

All four ACC student-athletes on Team USA were notable contributors through the USA’s run to the title.  Stevens, who scored 18 points in the championship game, averaged 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds over an average of 16.8 minutes per game. Thomas averaged 11.2 points and added 6.5 rebounds while playing in four games. Moore, one of five players on Team USA to average over 10 points per game, finished the tournament with 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Patberg contributed 3.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while averaging 17.0 minutes per game over the seven-game tournament. 

Spain, which included Duke’s Angela Salvadores and Florida State’s Maria Conde, finished fourth. Salvadores led all players in the tournament in scoring with 18.4 points per game. 

Syracuse’s Julie Chandler helped Canada to an eighth-place finish, while the Netherlands, which included incoming Miami freshmen Laura Cornelius and Emese Hof, and Syracuse’s Quentin Hillsman as an assistant coach, finished ninth.