Playing in what is likely her last world championships, Sheryl Swoopes (right), at 35, is the oldest player on the U.S. team, while 20-year-old Candace Parker is the youngest on the squad. The two helped the U.S. go 3-0 in group play at the tournament in Brazil, which concludes on Sept. 22.
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Katie Smith started all nine games for the U.S. at both the 1998 and 2002 worlds but saw her 18-game streak end when a starting lineup of Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Tina Thompson, Tamika Catchings and DeLisha Milton-Jones took the floor for the opener in Brazil.
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Diana Taurasi, who led Connecticut to three NCAA titles and helped the U.S. win a gold medal in Athens, scored 17 points in an opening-day 119-72 victory over China and had four points against Nigeria.
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Playing in her third world championships, DeLisha Milton-Jones led the U.S. with 13 points in its second game, a 79-46 victory over Nigeria.
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Three days after leading the Detroit Shock to its second WNBA championship, Cheryl Ford was banging with the Chinese in Brazil, scoring five points in 15 minutes of action.
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With 2002 World Championship MVP Lisa Leslie missing the tournament because of personal reasons, the U.S. is counting on Michelle Snow, among others, in the post. Snow tied for the team lead with 10 rebounds in its 47-point victory over China.
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After shooting 5 for 11 in her first world-championships appearance, Seimone Augustus hit all three of her field goal attempts and all four of her free throws in her next outing, a 23-point U.S. victory over Nigeria.
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A silky-smooth guard who led Duke to four ACC tournament titles and a pair of Final Fours, Alana Beard is part of a deep U.S. bench that also features Sheryl Swoopes, Seimone Augustus, Cheryl Ford, Michelle Snow, Katie Smith and Candace Parker.
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Injuries forced Tina Thompson to miss the 1998 and 2002 world championships, and she didn't play in her first Olympics until 2004, when she led the U.S. in scoring in its semifinal victory over Russia and in its gold-medal-clinching win over Australia. She averaged 15.3 points in the first three games in Brazil.
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The U.S. women's national team arrived in Brazil with a 42-0 record in Olympic and world championship games dating to 1996 and doesn't figure to lose much in the future with Sue Bird at the point. After helping the U.S. defeat Australia in a exhibition game before the world championships, she scored a team-high 20 points against China and dished out six assists.
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A starter in all nine games for the 2002 world championship team and all eight games for the 2004 Olympic gold-medal-winning squad, Tamika Catchings is one of the greatest hustlers the game has ever known. She had a team-leading six steals for the U.S. through its first two games in Brazil.
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