USA Will Look to Take Home Fifth Gold Medal After Beating Canada
- Box score: USA vs. Canada
- 2022 USA Basketball Women's U17 National Team fact sheet
- 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup Schedule
The 2022 USA Basketball Women's U17 National Team punched their ticket to the gold medal game at the 2022 FIBA Women's U17 World Cup after an 87-57 semifinals victory over Canada Saturday at Fönix Hall in Debrecen, Hungary.
The Americans led wire-to-wire, carrying their momentum from the quarterfinals to jump on Canada early. After the Canadians scored their first bucket, making the game 5-3 in the opening minutes of the contest, the U.S. went on a 16-0 run to take a 21-3 lead with just under three minutes to play in the first quarter.
The team ultimately held Canada to nine points in the first quarter, taking a 27-9 lead into the second frame. The Americans have made it a habit to press teams early, having held their opponents to under 10 points in a first quarter in two straight games (7 vs. Japan).
“The team was terrific defensively to start in this game and last game,” said U.S. head coach Sue Phillips. “They were locked in on our scouting reports defensively and showed some superb team defense with their help defense and rotations on that end of the floor.”
The second quarter was closely contested, with Canada opening the quarter with the first two scores, but the damage was already done. While the Canadians fought throughout the game, they were unable to escape the hole the U.S. put them in to start.
The Americans again prevailed through a team effort on defense, but also saw balanced scoring with their bench contributing 41 of the teams' 87 total points.
Mackenly Randolph, who came off the bench and led the team in scoring for her second time this week, finished with 14 points with 10 coming in the opening half.
Her Sierra Canyon School teammate Juju Watkins also scored 10 points through the first two quarters. Watkins finished with 13 points to go along with nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
As a team, the U.S. would end the game with 21 steals, making their semifinal game their fourth with 20 or more takeaways. Six Americans would end the game with multiple steals, led by Morgan Cheli and Madison Booker who both had four.
Cheli led the team in that category for the second-straight game while also scoring a personal-best 10 points to go along with two rebounds and two assists.
The U.S. will now advance to their fifth U17 gold medal game. The team will face Spain Sunday, July 17 at 2 p.m. ET.
“Spain is a great team that has demonstrated the ability to win games in a variety of ways,” Phillips said. “We will need to play tough, disciplined defense…and execute much more efficiently on the offensive end then we did tonight.”
Fans can catch the gold medal game on www.youtube.com/FIBA.