University of Kentucky guard Linnae Harper made two free throws with seven seconds left Sunday to give the United States a 65-64 win over Cuba in the semifinals of the Pan American Games women's basketball tournament at Toronto.
The United States will play either Canada or Brazil for the championship on Monday.
Harper, a junior-to-be at UK, led Team USA with 16 points on Sunday. Harper also contributed four steals, one rebound and one assist in 24 minutes. Moriah Jefferson and Breanna Stewart of Connecticut scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Alaina Coates of South Carolina also had 10.
“Linnae was just terrific off the bench tonight," USA Coach Lisa Bluder said. "She gave us such a spark offensively and defensively. I can’t say enough good things about the way that Linnae played today."
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The United States trailed 37-26 at halftime and 48-46 after three quarters.
Ineidis Casanova, who scored 15 points for Cuba, put her team in front 64-63 on a basket with 13 seconds remaining.
Harper drew a foul and sank the winning free throws. Harper then stole the ball on Cuba's ensuing possession, ending the game.
“All I could really think about was my teammates,” Harper said of stepping to the free throw line with the USA trailing by one point. “We’ve put in so much work for three weeks, every day, just trying to get better and fight for a gold. I just wanted to do it for everybody and for the coaching staff. I think we really deserve it. We’ve worked really hard.”
The United States will play for the championship at 8:45 p.m. Monday.