MAYAGUEZ, PUERTO RICO – Incoming Rutgers freshman Essence Carson (Paterson, NJ) and the U.S. Women’s Basketball Junior National Team defeated Brazil 99-38 in the semifinals of the FIBA World Championship Qualifying Tournament Aug. 7 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
The Americans will face Canada in the gold-medal game Aug. 8. Thanks to its win in the semifinals, the U.S. has already assured itself a spot in the 2005 FIBA Junior World Championship, slated for next July in Tunisia.
Carson, a 5-11 guard, has suffered an injury, and is not expected to be available for the championship game.
In the U.S. team’s 128-43 victory against Argentina Aug. 4, Carson tied for the team lead with seven rebounds. She also scored eight points on 3-for-9 (.333) shooting, adding two assists a steal and a blocked shot in 23 minutes of game action. Against Bolivia Aug. 5, she had nine points in 18 minutes. Carson missed just one attempt (2-3 FG, 1-1 3FG, 4-4 FT) for nine points, adding two rebounds and two steals in 16 minutes, against Puerto Rico Aug. 6. A Parade, USA Today and Street & Smith’s All-American while playing at Eastside High School, she will begin her collegiate career “On the Banks” next month.
Carson’s involvement with the team, her first international appearance as a member of the USA Basketball program, marks the fifth straight year that Rutgers has been represented on the U.S. Junior National Team (Cappie Pondexter, 2000-2003).