USA Captures First Win at 2022 Women's U17 World Cup
The USA Basketball Women's U17 National Team began their quest for a fifth FIBA U17 World Cup gold medal with a 78-49 victory in Group D over Mali on Saturday at Fönix Hall in Debrecen, Hungary.
Head coach Sue Phillips wanted to see effort from her team to open the tournament, noting that no one had to do it all, but everyone had to give it their all once the World Cup begun.
“It was terrific for all 12 players to contribute in today’s opening round of group play phase,” Phillips commented after her team’s opening matchup.
The U.S. looked to also play with a feverish pace to start the tournament and opened group play executing on this game plan. The team saw support across the roster, with each player recording three-or-more points in the contest and the team’s reserves scoring 48 of 78 total points.
Mali kept the game close in the opening quarter before Jada Williams converted the USA's first three and sparked a 16-3 run to give the team a 14-point lead, 22-8, with less than four minutes to play in the first quarter. Williams would finish with six points and four assists, helping the Americans capture a wire-to-wire victory that never saw the team lead by less than double-figures following the first quarter.
Mackenly Randolph paced the USA early, leading the team in points (10) and rebounds (4) after the conclusion of the first half. She also finished as the only player for the U.S. in double figures after recording 12 points (3-5 FG, 6-9 FT) to go along with six rebounds (5 OREB), one assist and a steal.
As a team the U.S. was busy on the boards, collecting 50 rebounds compared to Mali's total of 39 and turning their 21 offensive rebounds into 25 second chance points. Madison Booker led the way for USA with her nine rebounds. While the U.S. claimed a small victory over Mali in the turnover category, the team capitalized and on their caused turnovers and cashed in with 32 points off turnovers. The Americans finished with 27 turnovers while causing 31 from Mali.
“Moving forward we will need to play cleaner and with greater efficiency,” said coach Phillips on where the team can improve going forward. “I’m confident that we will move the needle in that direction in tomorrow’s game.”
Another big contributor in the matchup was Mikaylah Williams, who put together an all-around game scoring seven points to pair with six rebounds and five assists in the contest. She was the only player for the U.S. to record five-plus in each major statistical category.
Mali was led by center Lala Toure who recorded a game-high 14 points while shooting 50.0% (7-14 FG) from the field. She also led Mali in rebounding after collecting eight boards in the game.
The U.S. will matchup with New Zealand at 1:30 PM (ET) tomorrow. Fans can stream the games at www.youtube.com/FIBA.