U17 Women Capture 89-49 Win Over China In First Exhibition Game
-- Six Players Score In Double Figures, Led By 16 Points From Arike Ogunbowale --
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Nogent Sur Seine, France
In its first official game, albeit an exhibition contest, the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team (1-0) defeated China (0-1) 89-49 on Friday evening at Agora Michel Baron in Nogent Sur Seine, France.
The USA’s balanced attack saw six players reach double-figure scoring, with Arike Ogunbowale’s (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.) 16 points and four assists leading the way.
“I thought we played hard, and for this group of young ladies to string together forty minutes of intense, focused play was really a testament to their preparation over the past week,” said USA head coach Sue Phillips(Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose Cagers AAU, Calif.). “I don't think the score is indicative of the formidable opponent that China is, and we are going to have our work cut out for us moving forward into pool play at the FIBA U17 World Championship.”
After exhibition games against Canada at 5 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT) on June 21 and against France at 5:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. EDT) on June 22, the USA will travel to the Czech Republic, where it will face China on June 28, France on June 29 and Mali on July 1 in the preliminary round of the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship.
Playing in her first international game, Joyner Holmes (Cedar Hill H.S./Cedar Hill, Texas) scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds; Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.) had 13 points; Kristine Anigwe(Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.) finished with 11 points; and De’Janae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.) and Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas) both scored 10 points and collected four rebounds.
“I think we played well,” Ogunbowale said. “We kept the intensity up the whole game, even through substitutions, so I think we did really good.”
Eight U.S. players put points on the board in the first quarter, and Durr scored six of her 13 in the first period, but China managed to nearly keep pace with the USA, which led 23-17 at the first break.
It wasn’t until midway through the second period that the USA found a bit more breathing room. Leading 34-25, the USA launched an 8-0 run that forced China to call a timeout at 4:19 with the Americans up 42-25.
“We were trapping hard and playing really hard defense and getting the ball to the spots that we needed to in order to shoot efficient shots,” Holmes said of the second-quarter spurt, which featured pressure defense from the USA.
China made a 3-pointer out of its timeout to help cut the deficit to 46-31 at halftime.
The USA opened the third period with a 6-0 run and never looked back, outscoring China 24-10 overall in the third and 19-8 in the fourth quarter to capture the 89-49 win.
The USA, which led for the entire 40 minutes, shot 52.1 percent from the field (38-73 FGs) and outrebounded China 37-26.
Wang Zhen led China with 15 points.
Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.) did not play due to illness. She will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
“We are getting to know each other better and what everyone's strengths and weaknesses are, so I think throughout these next couple of days, I think we are just going to get better and better,” said Sabrina Ionescu(Miramonte H.S./Walnut Creek, Calif.), who added four points and six rebounds.
The 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team, will play two more exhibition games, before traveling to the Czech Republic for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship that will be played June 28-July 6.
Looking to capture its third-straight FIBA U17 World Championship gold medal, the USA was placed into Group D, where it will face China, France and Mali.
Following the preliminary round, all teams will be seeded within their groups and will advance to the Round of 16, which will be played on July 2. Winners of the Round of 16 will advance to the July 4 quarterfinals. The semifinals will be played on July 5, and the gold medal game is set for July 6.
“I think we are doing just fine for a team that just traveled from the other side of the world,” said Anna Wilson(Collegiate School/Richmond, Va.), who dished out three assists. “Our intensity is really good so far, and hopefully we can continue to improve upon that.”
The USA’s assistant coaches are Mary Coyle Klinger (Rutgers Preparatory School, N.J.) and Brian Robinson(Bishop McGuinness H.S./Stealers AAU, N.C.).
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 male and female players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships.
USA Basketball men's and women's teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 262-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.
USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics; men's and women's FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); men’s and women’s FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; the FIBA 3x3 Women's World Championship; and the FIBA 3x3 Women's U18 World Championship. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world-ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.