USA Claims Top Seed in Group D with Win Over Germany
- Box score: USA vs. Germany
- 2022 USA Basketball Women's U17 National Team fact sheet
- 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup Schedule
The USA Basketball Women’s U17 National Team captured the top seed coming out of Group D with an 86-40 victory over Germany on Tuesday at Fönix Hall in Debrecen, Hungary. The game was the U.S.’s final of pool play.
Entering tonight’s matchup, the German team had the fewest number of turnovers in the tournament with only 32. The USA trailed that mark by eight (40) to start the game, but the U.S. quickly flipped the narrative after a first half in which they recorded 24 turnovers and outscored Germany, 47-19.
“We recognized before the game the importance of establishing a defensive presence from the opening tip,” explained U.S. coach Sue Phillips. “The team answered those calls and showed relentless pressure in forcing 14 first quarter turnovers.”
The U.S. ultimately caused 39 total turnovers while only having 13 giveaways themselves. The Americans recorded 48 points off turnovers, a new team high for the tournament, while limiting Germany to 16 such points.
Jaloni Cambridge and Breya Cunningham helped lead the charge defensively in the first half. Cambridge logged two steals and Cunningham rejected two shots in the opening half. The two would finish leading the team in those respective categories, with Cambridge totaling four steals, along with Hannah Hidalgo.
The USA finished with 22 steals in the game, marking their second-straight contest with 20-plus takeaways. The team sought to improve their ball security and defensive intensity following the opening games of the tournament.
“We saw defense creating offense,” explained Phillips. “It was really great to see the team sell out on the defensive side of the ball.”
In a game where the Americans forced the Germans to their lowest scoring output of the tournament thus far, the USA had plenty of players to thank for the team’s steady performance.
Juju Watkins was a major key to the team’s success as she recorded her first double-double of the tournament with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Cunningham would lead the Americans in scoring with 14 points, a new personal-best for the tournament, but was not the only player to register her best scoring performance of the week. Jadyn Donovan finished in double-figures for the first time (10 points), while Madison Booker finished with a new high of eight points to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
Germany was led by their starting center Annika Soltau, who recorded a game-high 19 points. She added eight rebounds, two steals and five blocks.
The USA now enter single-game elimination matchups, starting with a round of 16 meeting with South Korea tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET.
Fans can stream the game live on www.youtube.com/c/FIBA.