University of Kentucky guard Linnae Harper scored 16 points and set a record by making all 10 of her free throws, but the United States women's basketball team was beaten 81-73 by Canada for the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto on Monday night.
Harper, a 51.4 percent free throw shooter at Kentucky last season, made two game-winning foul shots in Team USA's semifinal victory over Cuba on Sunday night. On Monday, she set a U.S. women's record for the Pan American Games by going 10-for-10 from the line.
All of that wasn't enough for the U.S. women to claim their first Pan Am gold since 2007. Team USA was done in by cold shooting (38.9 percent) and sloppy play (18 turnovers).
Harper finished 3-for-14 from the field. Connecticut standouts Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson shot a combined 10-for-25 and committed seven turnovers, scoring 17 and 14 points, respectively. Stewart also had a game-high 11 rebounds.
The U.S. led by as many as 11 points early in the second quarter but saw its lead erased by halftime when the score was 36-all, before a 26-15 third-quarter advantage gave Canada the lead for good.
UConn sophomore-to-be Kia Nurse led Canada with 33 points, helping secure her country's first Pan American gold in women's basketball.
“Our main goal was to get gold from the start, but second place is not bad at all,” Harper said. “It was a great opportunity, and a lot of other countries would kill to be in our position. I’m going to accept the silver medal with pride and celebrate with my teammates.”