Theresa Plaisance helps USA take gold

KAZAN, Russia — LSU senior forward Theresa Plaisance tallied nine points and six rebounds as USA Basketball captured the gold medal at the World University Games with a 90-71 victory over host Russia in the tournament final Monday.

The Americans capped a 6-0 record with their third consecutive World University Games gold medal and their ninth all-time. The USA never trailed, forcing the Russians into 20 turnovers, which led to 27 points. Plaisance also contributed a pair of steals.

“This is just outstanding,” Plaisance said. “Coming onto their home turf and being able to beat them in their own place is such an honor. We knew Russia was going to be a tough matchup, even though we lost to them in a scrimmage early on. We had to keep our mind set on the gold medal. We fought hard, and we achieved the ultimate goal. I won’t ever forget being a part of this team.”

Plaisance becomes the fourth Lady Tiger to claim a gold medal at the World University Games, joining Joyce Walker (1983), Seimone Augustus (2005) and Sylvia Fowles (2005). It’s also Plaisance’s second gold medal in a USA uniform. In the summer of 2010 prior to her freshman season at LSU, she was a member of the USA U18 National Team that claimed gold at the FIBA Americas 18 Championship.

In six contests at the games, Plaisance averaged 6.5 points and 5.3 rebounds. In a semifinal win against Australia, she had 10 points.

Plaisance, a 2014 National Player of the Year candidate, is coming off a junior season where she led the Southeastern Conference in scoring with 17.0 points per game en route to the Lady Tigers’ first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008.

She will return to the United States and re-join LSU, which will soon begin preparations for a Spanish collegiate tour event in Madrid and Barcelona in August.