USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team Cruises To 80-34 Exhibition Victory Over Brazil
- Taya Reimer Scores 17 Points As The USA’s Depth Proves Too Much For Brazil -
Caorle, Italy. • Aug. 10, 2012
Playing the first of three exhibition games over the next three days, the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team (2-0) started slowly before taking control and cruising to an 80-34 over Brazil on Friday in Caorle, Italy.
Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.) led the U.S. with 17 points, including a 9-of-12 performance from the free throw line. Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas) added 16 points and Mercedes Russell (Springfield H.S./Springfield, Ore.) scored 10 points to round out the USA’s double-digit scorers. Russell also led the team with seven rebounds, while Linnae Harper (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.) recorded a team-high five assists.
The U.S. struggled in the early going, with the game tied at 6-6 with 5:00 minutes left in the first quarter before taking an 18-10 lead at the end of the stanza. The USA outscored Brazil 16-9 in the second quarter to take a 34-19 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“We got off to a really slow start,” said USA head coach Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas). “I felt like as the game went on, our depth became more and more of a factor because we were able to extend our lead by putting fresh bodies in the game. Our bench was able to provide us with a big spark offensively, particularly Jessica Washington (Jenks H.S./Tulsa, Okla.), Brianna Turner and Linnae Harper.”
Brazil managed just six points in the third period, while the U.S. scored 20 and took a 54-25 lead into the final quarter. The U.S. had their highest scoring output in the fourth quarter with 26 points, while holding Brazil to single digits for the third consecutive quarter to reach the final score of 80-34.
The USA shot 29-of-68 (.426) from the field in the game, and 20-of-27 (.741) from the charity stripe. The U.S. bench accounted for 35 of the team’s 80 points.
Brazil shot just 29.5 percent (13-44 FGs) from the field and 50.0 percent (7-14 FTs) from the free throw line. Izabella Frederico Sangalli led Brazil with 13 points.
The USA’s game against Brazil was a rematch of sorts. After five days of training in Orlando, Fla., in May, the training camp culminated with an 80-38 exhibition win over Brazil on May 31 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resorts.
“It’s hard to know what to attribute the slow start to because we ended up playing really well,” said Schneider. “Yesterday we played well in practice and that was our first day. We played with a lot of energy in the first half, but had to do better on the offensive boards and get our post players more involved offensively. It’s an evolving process where our depth is coming around more and more and getting to the point where we are a 12-deep team.”
The team will continue with exhibition games in Italy, facing Australia at 6:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 11 and then host Italy at 8:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 12, before arriving in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for the 2012 Worlds, which will take place Aug. 17-26.
“These games are good to get ready for the fast and physical play we will see once we get to Amsterdam,” said Russell. “Italy has been great so far; it’s a beautiful place and everyone is having fun.”
The USA has been placed in preliminary round Group A for the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and will open against South Korea at 9:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 17, followed by Canada at 9:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 18 and Italy at 4:45 p.m. (10:55 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 19. After a rest day for all teams on Aug. 20, the USA will take on Belgium at 2:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 21 and wrap up preliminary round play against Mali at 10 a.m. (4 a.m.) on Aug. 22.
The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the medal quarterfinals on Aug. 24. Winners of the quarterfinals will compete in the medal semifinals on Aug. 25, and the gold medal game will be played on Aug. 26.
Schneider is assisted by Gail Hook (Monarch H.S., Colo.) and Letitia Hughley (Mott C.C., Mich.). The trio helped qualify the USA for the U17 Worlds by virtue of their gold-medal finish at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
The USA is the reigning U17 champion for men and women after both teams wrapped up 8-0 records and gold medals at the inaugural events in 2010.