USA U17 Women Pull Away From Brazil In Third Quarter For 79-62 Win And Advance To The Medal Quarterfinals
Outscoring Brazil (1-3) 25-15 in the third quarter, the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team (4-0) took control of the game in the second half and went on to record a 79-62 victory in the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship round of 16 on Monday evening in Zaragoza, Spain.
With the win, the USA advances to the medal quarterfinals on June 29, where it will play France (2-2), which advanced after beating Japan (2-2) 58-52. The game time is still to be determined.
“I thought we played well as a team,” said USA head coach Dori Oldaker (Mt. Lebanon H.S., Pa.). “We definitely were more patient on offense. We cut down our turnovers a little bit – not as much as I would like, but did we did cut down on our turnovers, and we still did a great job on the boards. We did better in the second half that we did in the first half. I thought we gave them too many opportunities in the first half.”
Janelle Bailey (Providence Day School/Matthews, N.C.) and Christyn Williams (Central Arkansas Christian School/Little Rock, Ark.) led the USA in scoring with 19 points apiece. Bailey added nine rebounds, and Williams had 10 rebounds and was 7-of-7 from the free throw line to tie the USA U17 women’s record for free throw percentage.
Additionally, Destanni Henderson (Fort Myers H.S./Fort Myers, Fla.) had 15 points and seven assists, and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (Winder-Barrow H.S./Winder, Ga.) had 11 points and seven boards.
“We knew how big this game was,” Bailey said. “It was win, or be out of medal contention. Knowing that, we had a lot of fire, and I think that is why we played well. We knew Brazil was a good team, and that they were going to compete with us. I think we brought our best.”
The lead changed hands six times and the score was tied five times in the first quarter, and the difference between the two teams was no more than three points. Bailey helped the USA with seven points in the first period, but Brazil outrebounded the USA 16-9 and led 20-18 after the first 10 minutes.
Thanks to two 7-0 runs in the second quarter, the USA built a 10-point lead, 36-26, with 2:07 remaining before halftime, but Brazil closed the first half by outscoring the USA 6-2, and the USA led 38-32 at the midway point.
By halftime, the USA had battled back to a 27-26 rebounding advantage.
The USA pushed the pace in the third quarter, with eight of its 25 points coming off of fast-break scores. On the defensive end, the USA collected five steals and held Brazil to just 6-of-21 from the field in the quarter.
Leading 43-38 with 7:52 on the clock, the USA compiled a 10-0 run that included six points from Williams, to go ahead 53-38 with 5:27 remaining in the third quarter. From there, the USA outscore Brazil 10-9 to lead 74-58 going into the final quarter.
“We came out with a lot of energy,” Williams said to the third quarter. “Offensively, the fast breaks were there, and we got the lead. We were running and gunning.”
The USA never let Brazil back into the game and outscored its opponent 16-15 to bring the game to its 79-62 final.
Also advancing to the medal quarterfinals were: Czech Republic (2-2), which won 49-31 against Portugal (1-3); Canada (4-0), which won 72-37 over Mexico (0-4); Italy (3-1), which edged past Mali (1-3) 58-55; France (2-2), which downed Japan (2-2) 58-52; China (3-1), which beat Latvia (1-3) 76-46; and host Spain (4-0), which recorded a 78-44 victory over South Korea (0-4).
In addition to USA – France, the three other medal quarterfinal matchups are Canada – Italy, China – Spain and Australia – Czech Republic. Game times are still to be determined.
The semifinals are on July 1, and the finals are on July 2.
The round of 16 losers will play out for ninth through 15 place. The complete schedule and results can be found at: usab.com/womens/u17/schedule.aspx.
The USA’s assistant coaches are Dianne Lewis (Thomas Edison H.S., Va.) and Samantha Quigley (University of St. Francis, Ill.).