BOSTON, MA – Rutgers rising junior Cappie Pondexter (Chicago, IL) had 11 points and a team-best four assists as the USA Basketball World Championship for Young Women Team defeated Brazil, 82-61, July 15 in Boston, MA.
"I think everyone was trying to get a feel for the game, it's a different style of play," Pondexter said. "We made some adjustments in the second quarter (USA overcame a 23-19 first-quarter deficit to lead 42-33 at halftime). We started to communicate more, and we started to pressure the ball and work together more.”
Pondexter started and was 5-of-6 (.833) from the field, making her only three-point attempt, and added two rebounds and a steal in 22 minutes. Following the team’s training camp in Colorado Springs July 7-11, Pondexter was named a team co-captain for the second consecutive summer. This year, she shares the captain duties with Duke’s Alana Beard.
The 12-member team is playing a series of “friendly” games at Northeastern University as the U.S. prepares for the FIBA World Championship For Young Women. The U.S. Young Women will play Brazil again on July 19 at 1:00 p.m., and the Australians July 16 at 1:00 p.m. and July 20 at 3:00 p.m. Following the stateside games, the U.S. will head to Sibenik, Croatia, to train July 22-24 before beginning the World Championship for Young Women July 25 against France. The tournament runs through Aug. 3.
Pondexter, a 5-9 guard, is spending her fourth consecutive summer as a member of the USA Basketball squad. As a co-captain and the team’s starting point guard, Pondexter helped lead the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2002 World Championship For Young Women Qualifying Tournament in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil. She led the tournament with 6.5 assists per game, adding 8.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per contest. She won a bronze medal as a member of the 2001 U.S. Junior National Team which competed at the FIBA World Junior Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. Following her junior season at John Marshall High School, Pondexter was named to the 2000 U.S. Junior World Championship Qualifying Team, helping the Americans win a gold medal in Mardelplata, Argentina.
Pondexter led Rutgers with 18.3 points and 4.9 assists per game during her rookie campaign, adding 5.1 rebounds per contest to rank second for the Scarlet Knights. An honorable-mention Associated Press and Kodak/WBCA All-American as well as the 2003 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, she also was the first rookie in conference history to earn a spot on the All-First Team. One of 12 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which honors the top point guard in Division I women’s basketball, Pondexter also was a member of the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team.
The Scarlet Knights, led by Pondexter, engineered the most dramatic turnaround in Division I this past season, improving from 9-20 in 2001-2002 to 21-8 and a trip to the 2003 NCAA Tournament’s second round.