ATHENS, GREECE – Rutgers women’s basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer and the 2004 U.S. Women’s Basketball Olympic Team defeated Spain 71-58 Aug. 20, securing Group B’s top seed for the upcoming medal quarterfinals. Stringer is serving as an assistant coach for the two-time defending gold medalist U.S. team.
Leading by just two (31-29) at halftime, the Americans extended that advantage to nine (50-41) at the end of the third quarter, as the U.S. faced its first real challenge of the Olympic Games. Spain tied the game at 37-37 midway through the third, but the Americans’ defense did not allow a field goal for the next 12:36, and the U.S. put together a 25-10 run during that stretch to take control of the game. Lisa Leslie led the U.S. with 19 points and nine rebounds.
The U.S., 4-0 at the Athens Games, will face China Sunday, Aug. 22, in the final game of group play. That game will be shown on CNBC at 2:00 p.m. Regardless of that game’s outcome, the Americans have locked up Group B’s top seed for the medal quarterfinal round Wednesday, Aug. 25.
Stringer, who will begin her 33rd season on the college sidelines this fall, owns the fourth-highest victory total in women’s college basketball history (695-239), including a 175-104 mark in her nine seasons at Rutgers. A member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the three-time national coach of the year remains the only coach, men’s or women’s, to lead three different schools to the NCAA Tournament Final Four (Cheyney in 1982, Iowa in 1993 and Rutgers in 2000).