2009 USA Women's U19 National Team Captures 88-53 Victory Over China
July 24, 2009 - Bangkok, Thailand
|Nneka Ogwumike posted a double-double against China with 18 points and 14 rebounds.|
Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford / Cypress, Texas) posted a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds as the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team (1-1) scored 64 points in the paint en route to an 88-53 victory over China (1-1) in FIBA U19 World Championship play on Friday night in Bangkok, Thailand.
Also scoring in double digits were Kelsey Bone (Dulles H.S. /Stafford, Texas) with 16 points and Skylar Diggins (Washington H.S. / South Bend, Ind.) tossed in 13 and dished out a game-best six of the USA's 18 assists. Additionally, Chay Shegog (North Carolina / Stafford, Va.) posted six points and grabbed eight boards and Destiny Williams (Benton Harbor H.S. / Benton Harbor, Mich.) scored eight points.
-We did do a great job in transition and limited China's transition game," said Carol Owens, USA and Northern Illinois University head coach. -They wanted to get out and run, make or miss. We were very aggressive defensively, especially Skylar (Diggins) and Sammy (Prahalis) on the perimeter, they did a great job. Kelly Faris came off the bench and did a tremendous job for us. Our team collectively came with the right mentality tonight. This is the beginning of playing the way USA Basketball plays."
Bone got the USA started with a put-back for the first two of the USA's eventual 16 second-chance points only 14 seconds into the game. Bone scored six of the USA's first 10 points and Ogwumike notched the other four, as the American women opened on a 10-2 tear less than three minutes into the contest. By the 3:37 mark in the first quarter, Ogwumike already had seven points and the U.S. was up by double digits, 17-6. By the end of the period the USA's lead was 23-15 with 16 points coming from the paint.
-I think I came out with a little bit of a different mentality than I did yesterday," said Ogwumike. -Yesterday we were kind of trying to make up for a lot of slack. Today we started off with a lot of intensity, which really helps everyone to get into the game early. That was the difference tonight."
The U.S. continued to pull away and by halftime the gap was up to 15 points, 40-25, and Ogwumike was one board shy of her double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.
It didn't take long in the second half for the USA to jump to a more comfortable advantage. Diggins grabbed a Chinese pass, got it to Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State / Dix Hills, N.Y.), who fed it to Shenise Johnson (Miami, Fla. / Henrietta, N.Y.) for an easy bucket to get things rolling at 9:23. Bone hit the next two buckets, the second a put-back and with 18:12 remaining in the contest the red, white and blue was up by 21 points, 46-25. The U.S. continued to cruise and by the end of the third quarter was up 66-41.
The Americans outscored the Chinese 22-12 in the fourth quarter for the eventual win.
-I think it was just all of our preparation," said Bone after the victory. -Our coaches did a very good job telling us what to look for, explaining how to stop their post players and preventing them from hitting their sweet spots. Our zone was really effective. Watching film and going through it during our shoot-around was very, very effective for us today."
Outrebounding China 54-26, the U.S. led from wire-to-wire. The Americans shot 48.8 percent (40-82 FGs) from the field, while limiting China to just 29.3 percent (22-75 FGs) shooting.
Shuang Zhao was the only double-digit scorer for China with 12 points.
-We did well offensively and defensively," said Williams. -We stopped the post from scoring and offensively we got the ball and put it in at all times. We rebounded well. I think we outrebounded them 50 to 20-something (54-26). That's a big difference. Not all post players can do that and we did that. Like I said before, the intensity was high. It started with the guards, they got it to the post, scored, ran up and down, I think everything flowed well."
The U.S. closes preliminary round play against Mali on July 25 (8:45 a.m. EDT). The top three finishing teams in each preliminary round group will advance to the July 27-29 second round. The quarterfinals will be played on July 31, semifinal action is scheduled for Aug. 1 and the gold medal will be contested on Aug. 2.
The other Group D game featured Spain (2-0) defeating Mali (0-2) 89-35. In Group A, Australia (2-0) defeated France (1-1) 66-57, while Argentina (1-1) downed South Korea (0-2) 73-63; Group B games saw Brazil (2-0) beat the Czech Republic (1-1) 86-76 and Lithuania (1-1) defeat host Thailand (0-2) 89-34; while in Group C, Russia (2-0) downed Japan (1-1) 83-64 and Canada (1-1) was victorious over Tunisia (0-2) by a tune of 87-26.
Owens is being assisted by collegiate head coaches Amanda Butler of the University of Florida and Bill Fennelly of Iowa State University.
The 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship features 16 national teams comprised of athletes 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1990) that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments.