U17 Women Advance To Quarterfinals With 91-35 Victory Over Mexico
Pilsen, Czech Republic
In its highest scoring game thus far at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, the 2014 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team (4-0) saw five players reach double figures as the USA recorded a 91-35 win over Mexico (0-4) on Wednesday night at City Arena in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
With the win, the USA advances to the medal-round quarterfinals, where the USA will take on Canada (2-2) at 3:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m. EDT) on July 4. All of the quarterfinal games are available live online at youtube.com/user/FIBAWorld.
“We definitely played hard in spurts,” said USA head coach Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose Cagers AAU, Calif.). “And I want to credit Mexico for their effort. The score wasn't indicative of how they played.
“I think our 91 points was a function of being efficient offensively,” Phillips added. “We had 91 possessions, and we scored 91 points. That is kind of our goal -- a one-to-one ratio. I was more pleased with the strides we made defensively, particularly in the fourth quarter.”
Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.) tallied a game-high 19 points and dished out four assists; Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.) had 14 points and five rebounds; Joyner Holmes (Cedar Hill H.S./Cedar Hill, Texas) had 14 points and seven boards; Kristine Anigwe (Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.) scored 12 points in 11 minutes played; and Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.) just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
“I think we played really well,” Ogunbowale said. “We worked hard and kept our intensity up the whole game.”
The USA shot 10-of-23 from 3-point to tie the U.S. U17 women’s record for 3-pointers made, which was set in 2010 against Canada, as well as the U.S. U17 women's record for 3-point attempts, which it set against China on June 28 and also reached against Mali on July 1.
“A lot of people were in double-figures today, and we shared the ball really well,” Samuelson said. “I think we are doing good at evenly contributing through the whole entire team, and that's the reason we scored so many points.”
The USA jumped out to a big lead early and was ahead 20-4 at the 2:35 in the first quarter, but Mexico ended the period with three 3-pointers and a made free throw to cut into the U.S. advantage, and the scoreboard read 23-14 at the first break.
In the second quarter, however, the USA took control of the game as it scored 36 points while holding Mexico to just seven to lead 59-21 at halftime. Nine U.S. players put points on the board in the second period alone, which was the USA's highest scoring quarter of the tournament, including eight from Ogunbowale.
“Our shots were on, our post players finishing and I think collectively with our defense, it helped us produce offense,” said Sabrina Ionescu (Miramonte H.S./Walnut Creek, Calif.), who finished with six points, eight rebounds and a game-high five assists. "We played with great defensive intensity, and I think that helped us offensively.”
The USA outscored Mexico 18-9 in the third quarter, including making four of its 10 3-pointers, and then 14-5 in the fourth period to bring the game to its 91-35 final.
“We moved the ball a lot,” said Kennedy Burke (Sierra Canyon School/Northridge, Calif.). “That is what made a difference. We weren't rushing anything.”
Overall, the USA dominated nearly every statistical category, highlighted by a 55-24 rebounding advantage, a 52-15 edge in points off the bench and 27 points off of Mexico’s 23 turnovers.
Nayeli Ortiz led Mexico with 12 points.
Also today in Klatovy, Czech Republic, Canada (2-2) beat Brazil (2-2) 52-40; Hungary (4-0) was the first team in the tournament to reach triple digits with a 100-47 win against Egypt (0-4); host Czech Republic (3-1) topped Italy (1-3) 61-57; and Spain (4-0) defeated South Korea (0-4) 80-51. In Pilsen, Australia (4-0) remained undefeated with a 72-34 win against Mali (0-4); Japan (3-1) topped China (1-3) 69-45; and France
(3-1) edged out Slovakia (1-3) 47-42.
In addition to the USA - Canada game, also playing in the medal-round quarterfinals will be Hungary against Japan, Czech Republic versus Australia and Spain against France.
Winners of the July 4 quarterfinals advance to the semifinals, which will be played on July 5, and the gold medal game is set for July 6.
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.).
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