U17 Women Wrap Up Preliminary Round WIth Rout of Mali
Pilsen, Czech Republic
Recording 22 assists on its 29 made baskets, the 2014 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team (3-0) took advantage of its depth as it raced to a 78-22 victory against Mali (0-3) in the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship on Tuesday evening at City Arena in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Three players reached double-figure scoring and 10 players put points on the board.
The undefeated USA advances to tomorrow’s round of 16 as a No. 1 seed and will face Mexico (0-3), the No. 4 seed out of Group C, at 8:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m. EDT). The round of 16 and the quarterfinal games are available online at www.youtube.com/user/FIBAWorld.
“We definitely had some bright spots, executed well on certain possessions and defensively strung together some good stretches,” said USA head coach Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose Cagers AAU, Calif.). “But over forty minutes we had our lapses --18 turnovers -- and much of it in my estimation was carelessness with the basketball.”
Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.) finished with 15 points; Joyner Holmes (Cedar Hill H.S./Cedar Hill, Texas) had a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double; and Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas) scored 10 points to go with her eight rebounds.
Additionally, Kristine Anigwe (Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.), who had nine points, shot 7-of-10 from the free throw line to tie the U.S. U17 women’s record for free throws attempted that was first set by Kaela Davis against South Korea in 2012. As a team, the USA tied its USA U17 women’s record for 3-pointers attempted with 23 shots from behind the arc – a mark it set against China on June 28.
“I think we played very well,” Holmes said. “Our transition game was very good, we played together and our defense was good today.”
The USA jumped out to a 5-0 lead and only continued to extend that margin. Seven players helped the USA score 29 points in the first quarter to record the Americans’ highest-scoring period thus far in the tournament, and at the first break, the USA led 29-6.
The USA’s largest run of the game, a 22-0 run, stretched from 4:18 in the first quarter, when Natalie Chou (Plano West Senior H.S./Plano, Texas) sank a 3-pointer, all the way until 8:40 in the second period, when Mali’s leading scorer Mariam Alou Coulibaly, who finished with nine points, scored from the field to make it 33-8. The red, white and blue went on to outscore Mali 17-2 to end the first half with a 40-point lead, 50-10.
The USA went on to outscore Mali 16-3 in the third quarter and 12-9 in the fourth to bring the game to its 78-22 final.
“Coach said no transition scores, because she wanted us to work on our plays, so we did that in the second half,” Chou said.
Overall, the USA won the rebounding battle 58-28 and recorded 44 points in the paint to Mali’s 10.
“It feels great to know that we are advancing as a number one seed, and we've done our work so far,” said De’Janae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.). “On the floor, it is just so fun. We've only been with each other for less than three weeks, and for all of us to come together and have a bond is really good. Our team chemistry is getting stronger. We all get along well.”
Also today in the USA’s Group D, France (2-1) won against China (1-2) 75-42. In Group A, Hungary (3-0) downed South Korea (0-3) 73-68, and Czech Republic (2-1) defeated Canada (1-2) 71-62; in Group B, Spain (3-0) beat Brazil (2-1) 73-52, and Italy (1-2) topped Egypt (0-3) 65-48; and in Group C, Australia (3-0) won against Mexico (0-3) 64-42, and Japan (2-1) edged out Slovakia (1-2) 49-47.
All teams will advance to the Round of 16, which will be played on July 2. The matchups in Klatovy, Czech Republic, will see Canada (A3) take on Brazil (B2), Hungary (A1) against Egypt (B4), host Czech Republic (A2) versus Italy (B3) and South Korea (A4) playing Spain (B1). In Pilsen, along with the USA – Mexico game, will be Australia (C1) against Mali (D4), Japan (C2) versus China (D3) and Slovakia (C3) playing France (D2).
“We can't underestimate anybody,” said Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.). “We just have to go out and play how we would play in the gold-medal game, so we just have to keep pushing.”
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.
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.
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