University of Kentucky guard Linnae Harper had seven points and four rebounds to help the United States women's basketball team to a 75-69 victory over Brazil in its opening contest at the Pan American Games in Toronto on Thursday night.
Harper shot 3-for-8 from the field, including 1-for-2 from three-point range, and missed both of her free throws. She also had one assist and one steal in 17 minutes.
University of Connecticut standouts Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson led the United States with 26 and 21 points, respectively.
Brazil overcame a 16-point second-quarter deficit and threw a scare into the U.S. by taking a two-point lead in the third quarter, but Stewart and Jefferson sparked an 11-2 run that put the USA back in control.
“You never want to lose a lead like we did, but we went through some adversity, and we didn’t panic,” said USA head coach Lisa Bluder (Iowa). “Everybody stayed calm. We knew we could battle back, and I thought that was really good for our team.”
The U.S. will take on the Dominican Republic at 9 p.m. EDT on Friday and Puerto Rico at 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday.