Edelman, Team USA Take Home Gold at 2017 Maccabi Games

Tournament MVP Drew Edelman (right) alongside Team USA head coach Sherry Levin
Tournament MVP Drew Edelman (right) alongside Team USA head coach Sherry Levin

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Behind a game-high 29 points and 19 rebounds from UC Santa Barbara redshirt senior forward Drew Edelman, the United States women's basketball team secured a 71-61 victory over Israel to claim the gold medal at the 2017 Maccabi Games. 

The standout performance for Edelman capped off a dominant performance at the Maccabiah, as the Sunnyvale, Calif. native averaged 24.6 points per game en route to tournament Top Scorer and Most Valuable Player awards. Edelman especially raised her game in the semifinal and championship rounds, averaging 29.5 points per game and 18.5 rebounds per game. She had averaged a solid 21.4 points per game in preliminary play, best among Team USA players. 

The victory in the championship game avenged a six-point loss to Israel in the preliminary round, which ultimately represented Team USA's only loss in the tournament. 

Women's basketball's was the 31st gold medal won by Team USA, which accrued 106 total medals (44 silver, 36 bronze) to finish second behind Israel in the medal table.

The Maccabiah is the world's largest Jewish athletic competition in the tradition and values of Maccabi, emphasizing the centrality of the State of Israel in the life of the Jewish people. The Maccabi Games are often called "The Jewish Olympics."

Edelman is coming off a standout debut season at UCSB. The USC transfer, who redshirted in 2015-16, led the Gauchos in both scoring (11.7 points per game) and rebounding (7.7 per game). Edelman was rewarded for her strong campaign with Second Team All-Big West and All-Big West Tournament honors.

With her holding down the frontcourt, UCSB earned a No. 4 seed in the Big West Tournament and came within inches of a league title, storming back from a 19-point deficit in an eventual 56-55 heartbreaking loss in the championship game to Long Beach State.