Linnae Harper's U19 squad wins gold medal at world championships

July 28, 2013 

Kentucky's Linnae Harper (6) and her teammates celebrated the United States' victory against France in the gold-medal game in the women's U19 World Championship on Sunday, July 28, 2013.

USA BASKETBALL PHOTO

The United States held France to eight points in the second half en route to a 61-28 victory in the women's U19 World Championship at Lithuania on Sunday.

Linnae Harper, a Chicago native who will be a freshman this fall at Kentucky, scored six points to go with three rebounds, two steals and an assist in the final game.

"Seeing the time go down, it was 10 seconds left, I was really excited, all the jitters were there and I was just happy to be able to the gold," Harper said.

Tournament MVP Breanna Stewart, who plays for Connecticut, led the way for the United States (9-0) with 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots against France (7-2).

"She deserved it," Harper said when asked about Stewart winning being named MVP. "She led us throughout the whole tournament. When we needed her, she was there. She's a good team player and a leader."

Stewart's total of 152 points gave her the all-time USA U19 scoring record, surpassing the 147 points scored by Maya Moore in 2007.

Harper, who wrapped up the tournament averaging 8.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.0 steals, said playing for the U19 squad will help her at Kentucky.

"It's going to really help me with my confidence and also with my game," she said. "Being around college players and playing with them, I kind of know a little bit about college ball. Playing for coach (Katie) Meier, she's a college coach (at Miami, Fla.), so that really helped me a lot. I think I'll be ready for Kentucky."

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