USA U17 Women Cruise Into Quarterfinals With 98-28 Rout Of Mali
- Trio Of U.S. Scorers Finish With 13 Points As All 12 Score, Grab At Least One Rebound-
Amsterdam, the Netherlands • Aug. 22, 2012
Leading from start to finish, the USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team (5-0) wrapped up its preliminary roundplay undefeated with a 98-28 blowout against overmatched Mali (0-5) in the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship on Wednesday morning at Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The 70-point win tied for the largest margin of victory in FIBA U17 World Championship history, which dates back to the inaugural competition in 2010.
“Our first quarter was maybe a little flat, but after that we played like I expect us to play,” said USA head coach Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas). “It's tough to stay focused when you have a big lead, but I felt like our players kept playing hard. We tried to push the ball, and if we had something in transition to go ahead and take it, but then we wanted to use the time to execute some thing we are going to need to do well in the next round.”
As the No. 1 seed out of preliminary round Group A, the USA will meet the fourth seed out of Group B, which will be determined following the result of today’s other games. Played on Aug. 24, the quarterfinal game times will be announced after the conclusion of the preliminary round tonight.
“They are undefeated in pool play, and I'm proud of them,” Schneider said of her team. “Obviously, now we are to a point where you lose and you are out of contention for a gold medal. We want to be sure we are approaching the bracket play in the right frame of mind, and I think that we are. I think that they are ready, and they are obviously very talented. Now, we are just waiting to see who it is going to be.”
Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.), Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic H.S./Owensboro, Ky.) and Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas) each scored 13 points for the USA, while all 12 U.S. players recorded at least one score and one rebound. Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.) rounded out the USA’s double-digit scorers with 10 points.
“We started a little slow, but we did well after the first quarter,” Reimer said. “I think we knew that we had some advantages over Mali, so we tried to focus on penetration and finding the open player and playing good defense.”
Additionally, Jessica Washington (Jenks H.S./Tulsa, Okla.) grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, while Lindsay Allen (St. John’s College H.S./Bowie, Md.) dished out seven assists and Oderah Chidom (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./Oakland, Calif.) blocked four shots.
The USA was dominant from the tip, jumping to a 10-0 lead after a score from Turner at 6:00. Mali scored at 5:40 and then made two more field goals in the period while the USA added 13 points to take a 23-6 lead at the first break.
An 11-0 U.S. run opened the second period and the USA led 34-6 before Mali sank a 3-pointer at 6:05. DeShields sank two 3-pointers and Greenwell added another from deep at the USA raced to 20 more points while allowing Mali just one more score to take a 54-11 halftime lead.
“I think we started off a little slow, but we turned that around and played like we play and stretched out the lead,” Washington said. “Our expectations for ourselves are higher than what we came out with, but after that, we did a good job staying focused.”
The USA went on to outscore Mali 18-6 in the third quarter and 26-11 in the fourth for the 98-28 win.
“We played well, but not completely to our full potential,” said Kai James (William T. Dwyer H.S./West Palm Beach, Fla.). “Each and every game and each and every practice, we are creating more chemistry with each other.”
As a team, the USA tied the USA U17 record for field goals attempted with 88 shots, while it recorded large advantages in nearly every statistical category. The USA forced Mali into 33 turnovers, which it converted into 43 points, and it compiled a 65-35 rebounding advantage, a 21-4 margin on second-chance points and 16 fast-break points compared to Mali’s 2.
Also today in Group A, Italy (3-1) will play Belgium (2-2) at 12:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m EDT), while Canada (2-2) will play South Korea (1-3) at 2:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. EDT).
In Group B, Brazil (0-4) plays Turkey (0-4) at 4:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m. EDT), the Netherlands (3-1) faces Spain (3-1) at 7 p.m. (1 p.m. EDT) and Australia (2-2) will meet Japan (4-0) at 9:15 p.m.
The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group advance to the medal quarterfinals on Aug. 24. Winners of the quarterfinals compete in the semifinals on Aug. 25, and the gold medal game will be played on Aug. 26.
Schneider is assisted on the U.S. sideline by Gail Hook (Monarch H.S., Colo.) and Letitia Hughley (Mott C.C., Mich.). The trio helped qualify the USA for the U17 Worlds by virtue of their gold-medal finish at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.