Press release from Mississippi State University
LIMA, Peru (WLBT) - Acting as an assistant, Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer helped Team USA bring home the silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.
The U.S. finished 4-1 in the event, defeating Argentina, Colombia and U.S. Virgin Islands to win Group B. In the semifinals, the Red, White and Blue came out on top in a hard-fought matchup against Puerto Rico, 62-59, that saw 17 lead changes. In the gold medal game, the USA squared off with Brazil but fell short, 79-73, after a late run by Brazil put the game out of reach.
“I’m really proud of our team,” said Schaefer. “Our kids competed against some veteran players night in and night out who were pros. The age and experience differential were quite different some nights. I thought coach Suzy Merchant did a great job preparing our team for this event all throughout training camp. It’s always been a dream of mine to represent the USA in global competition as a coach, and I appreciate the opportunity Carol Callan and USA Basketball gave me. We were certainly disappointed in not winning gold. That’s the standard for our country, but our student-athletes left it all on the floor and competed to the very end against a very seasoned, veteran Brazil team. It was a great experience, and I am proud of our team.”
Overall, the U.S. women are now 82-16 all-time in Pan American Games basketball competitions and have captured seven gold medals, six silver medals and two bronze medals.
The Pan American Games marked Schaefer's second trip abroad this summer after Mississippi State represented USA Team in the 2019 World University Games in Naples, Italy. The ESPNW Coach of the Year led the U.S. to a silver medal and a 6-1 record during that tournament. Freshman Rickea Jackson also boasts experience playing internationally this year. Along with the World University Games, she helped Team USA claim the gold medal at the 2019 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in June.
The Bulldogs host Lubbock Christian on Nov. 4 in an exhibition before opening the season with Southern Miss at The Hump on Nov. 9. Season tickets go on sale August 15 at 8 a.m. to the general public. Tickets can be purchased by going to hailstate.com/tickets or by calling the Mississippi State Ticket Office at 662.325.2600 or 888.GO.DAWGS.