USA Claim Semifinals Trip with Win Over Japan
- Box score: USA vs. Japan
- 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 secured their fifth win (5-0) at the 2022 FIBA Women's U17 World Cup, earning a 112-38 quarterfinals victory over Japan Friday at Fönix Hall in Debrecen, Hungary.
The team put together their most efficient performance of the tournament, seeing the ball go through the hoop early and carrying that energy throughout the contest.
The Americans got off to a fast start with a 17-0 run in the first three minutes of the game. After the conclusion of the first quarter the U.S. led, 43-7, and shot 53.1% from the field and 80.0% from the line. The 3-ball fell early, too, with the team converting five of their total eight threes in the opening frame.
The first half was highlighted by the team’s usual trademarks. They shared the ball, played disciplined yet aggressive defense, and attacked the glass. By the end of the game, the U.S. had 26 assists, which followed their 35 helpers against South Korea yesterday that tied the single-game assists record (35 vs. JPN, 2010) for a USA Basketball Women's U17 National Team.
“I think that’s been a calling card for us since day one,” USA head coach Sue Phillips said. “It takes time to develop chemistry with a group, so I think we’re starting to hit our groove with sharing the basketball and then finishing on the tail end of that great passing. It’s like they say, though…teamwork makes the dream work.”
Everyone shined in the team win, but some players finished with standout performances for the stars-and-stripes.
Point guard Jaloni Cambridge finished with 15 points (5-7 FG, 2-3 3FG, 3-3 FT), five rebounds and seven assists while shooting above 50% from the field, beyond the arc and at the charity stripe. She became the first U.S. player this World Cup to have a game with 15-plus points, five-plus rebounds and five-plus assists after adding five rebounds and a team-high seven assists to her stat line.
Jadyn Donovan picked up where she left off last game, finishing with her third-straight double-digit scoring outing with 19 points (9-11 FG) to go along with three rebounds, two assists and three steals. She’s set new scoring highs in each of the last three games.
The belle of the ball though was Juju Watkins, who capped off her 17th birthday with a 25-point showing (10-15 FG, 5-7 3FG) to go along with nine rebounds, two assists and one steal. Tonight was her fourth-straight game scoring in double-figures and her first game scoring 20-or-more points.
“I thought it was divine intervention when she had 17 points and then I thought ‘well she’s not done yet’,” Phillips said. “It was just great for her to have such a terrific shooting night…couldn’t have happened to a greater kid too.”
Watkins’ shooting encompassed the entire team’s shooting, however, with the team ultimately ending the game shooting 56.5% (48-85 FG) from the field, 44.4% (8-18 3FG) from beyond the arc and 72.7% (8-11 FT) from the charity stripe. The U.S. set new team highs for the week in all three shooting categories.
The U.S. now advance to the semifinals, with a meeting with Canada and a rematch of the 2021 FIBA U16 Americas Championship set for tip tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. on www.youtube.com/FIBA.