USA U16 Women Down Argentina 82-46, Continue To Rewrite USA U16 Record Book
Merida, Mexico • June 14, 2011
Thanks to a USA U16 record 83 rebounds, including 41 offensive boards, the USA Women’s U16 National Team (2-0) ran away with a 82-46 win over Argentina (0-2) in the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship on June 14 in Mérida, Mexico.
“We absolutely dominated the offensive boards in the second quarter in particular,” said USA head coach Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Lubbock, Texas). “I think that was the turning point. I thought the difference in the game was our ability to dominate the glass.”
In addition to the rebounding mark, the USA set a new high for free throws attempted (17-32 FTs) and tied the mark for steals with 22.
As the USA’s leading scorer with 22 points and 11 rebounds, Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic H.S./Owensboro, Ky.) established USA U16 single-game records for field goals attempted (8-21 FGs) and 3-pointers attempted (4-10 3-pt FGs).
“Tonight felt really good,” Greenwell said. “I knocked down my first few shots, and that gave me a lot of confidence throughout the game.”
Additionally, Jannah Tucker (New Town H.S./Randallstown, Md.) tied the high for rebounds with 15 boards and six points; and Greenwell and Linnae Harper (Whitney M. Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.), who also had 11 points and seven rebounds, tied the record for steals with five apiece. With the exception of the team rebounding record, which was set on June 13 against Brazil, and the individual rebounding high, which was set by Mercedes Russell (Springfield H.S./Springfield, Ore.) also against Brazil, the previous records were set in the inaugural FIBA Americas U16 Championship in 2009.
“Everybody on our team is talented, and on any given day any of our players could be our high scorer,” Harper said. “I think everybody has their role, and we are playing well together.”
The USA jumped out to a 4-0 lead to start the game, but a 3-pointer from Argentina was a sign of the next 10 minutes as neither team pulled away in the first quarter. The score was tied at 9-9 at 4:53 and 11-11 at 3:41 before Argentina took its first lead, 14-13, with another long ball at 2:56. The USA recaptured the advantage, 17-16, off of a bucket from Jatarie White (Providence Day School/Charlotte, N.C.) at 1:38, and then took a 20-17 lead at the first break. Starters Russell and Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fisher, Ind.) picked up two fouls in the first quarter and were limited in playing time.
“Our depth really came to fruition tonight when Taya (Reimer) and Mercedes (Russell) got in foul trouble so early,” Rankin Schneider said. “Our bench came in and did a great job of extending our lead and giving us some great minutes.”
The second quarter was all USA as a 17-0 run helped the Americans outscore Argentina 23-6 in the stanza to take a 43-23 lead at halftime. All but three of the USA’s 13 scores in the period were the result of an offensive rebound, and the U.S. defense allowed Argentina just three field goals.
While the USA never let up, Argentina managed to nearly keep pace with the red, white and blue in the third quarter, partially in thanks to four 3-pointers. The USA improved its lead by three points, however, and the score was 63-40 after three periods.
“It was really physical,” White said. “We did have a size advantage over Argentina, but they were tough. We still had to use our bodies and fight for everything.”
The U.S. lead reached its widest margin of 37 points, 82-45, at 1:03, just before the final Argentina bucket and the end of the game.
Stephanie Mavunga (Brownsburg H.S./Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with 12 point and 12 rebounds, White also recorded double-digit scoring with 11 points and eight rebounds and Russell collected nine rebounds to go with her five points and three blocks.
All 11 active players scored in the game, as Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, Ga.) did not play due to a sore left ankle. She is listed as day-to-day.
“I think it was a well played game,” said Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.), who had six points five rebounds. “The bench got a lot of minutes, which really shows how deep as a team we are. We have a variety of players that can score. Other benches aren't as strong as us, and that helps, because we can just keep bringing in players.”
Argentina was led by 13 points from Magali Ayelen Pittavino.
Assistant Rankin Schneider on the sideline are Gail Hook, head mentor at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colo., and Letitia Hughley, head coach at both Mott Community College and Flint Northern High School in Flint, Mich.
In today’s other games, Group B saw Brazil (1-1) beat Venezuela (1-1) 86-47, while in Group A, Canada (2-0) downed Puerto Rico (1-1) 80-66 and Mexico (0-1) takes on Guatemala (0-1) in today’s final contest.
The U.S. wraps up pool play on June 15 against Venezuela at 2:00 p.m. (all times listed are local, Mérida is -1 hour from EDT).
The top two finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the medial semifinals, while the third and fourth place teams in each group will play for 5th through 8th place. The semifinals will be played on June 17, and the finals will be played on June 18. The top three finishing teams at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will earn a berth into the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship (site and date TBD).