USA U17 Women Wear Down Canada for 84-59 Win, Advance To Gold Medal Game
- All 12 U.S. Players Score, As USA Collects 38 Offensive Boards -
Amsterdam, the Netherlands • Aug. 25, 2012
Collecting 55 points off the bench and 38 offensive rebounds, the USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team (7-0) used its depth and determination to wear down Canada (4-3) for an 84-59 win that earned the USA a place in the gold medal game of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship on Saturday night at Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The USA will meet Spain (5-2), which advanced with a 91-62 win over Japan (5-2), in the gold medal game at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 26. Canada and Japan will play for the bronze medal.
“I really was pleased,” said USA head coach Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas). “I felt like we came out and played hard. We couldn't get shots to fall early, but we were getting four and five chances because of our offensive rebounding. I think we had 13 offensive rebounds in the first quarter -- that's pretty incredible. Just our effort was so much better and more intense than it had been. An equally outstanding stat for us was that we had 55 points off the bench - that's just unheard of, and it vouches for our depth.”
All 12 players scored for the USA, including 11 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and four assists from Linnae Harper (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.), 10 points from Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, Ga.), 10 points and seven rebounds from Oderah Chidom (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./Oakland, Calif.) and a game-high 12 rebounds to go with seven points from Rebecca Greenwell (Owesnboro Catholic H.S./Owensboro, Ky.).
While the USA struggled with its shooting, making just 33.0 percent (32-97 FGs) from the field and 12.5 percent from 3-point (2-16 3pt FGs), it was helped by a 69-41 rebounding advantage and 31 Canadian turnovers, which it converted into 31 points. The USA’s 97 shot attempts were a USA U17 record, as were its 23 steals in the game.
“I think in the beginning we were just too excited and bouncing around,” Harper said of the USA’s shooting woes. “As the game progressed, we settled down and took our time on offense. As a team, we did a phenomenal job of getting offensive rebounds, and defensive rebounds, and I think that is what separated us from Canada.”
The U.S. started the game with a 3-0 lead before Canada responded and outscored the USA 9-2 over the next three minutes to lead 9-5 at 7:12. After the USA missed three of its next four free throws, Canada lead by as many as seven, 13-6 at 4:27. Davis responded with two made from the line, followed by a steal and fastbreak from Harper and a score from Chidom to pull the USA within one 13-12 at 3:38. Canada made three from the charity stripe to lead by four, 16-12, before the USA closed on a 10-0 run that included scores from five different U.S. players to erase the deficit and lead 22-16 as the buzzer sounded on the first quarter.
Canada did not quit fighting and not only erased the margin in the first four minutes of the second period, but lead by two points, 28-26, at 6:17 at the conclusion of a 7-0 run. Davis scored to end the spurt, and the USA followed with points from Chidom and Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.) to lead 32-28 at 5:07. Canada scored at 4:47 to pull within two, but the USA again strung together a run to end the stanza, this time a 9-2 stretch that included a 3-pointer from Jessica Washington (Jenks H.S./Tulsa, Okla.), a steal and bucket from Davis and four points from Harper to help the USA take a 41-32 lead into the halftime locker room.
“Coming off the bench, we know we have to bring energy,” Washington said. “Other teams have a hard time dealing with all 12 players and not just seven or eight.”
After the USA made three free throws to lead 44-32 to start the third quarter, Canada scored four straight points to come within six, 44-38 at 7:57, but that was as close as they would get for the remainder of the game. Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.) scored a 7:14 followed by Chidom at 6:00 to help give the red, white and blue a 48-36 lead and control of the momentum. Canada managed just four points over the next six minutes as the USA got points from four players to end the quarter with a 19-point, 59-40 advantage.
Any hopes of a Canadian comeback were dashed as the USA opened with a steal and fastbreak from Washington and then a score from Greenwell and Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas) to lead 65-40 at 8:40. Afer a score from Canada, the USA reached its largest lead of the game, 29 points, off two free throws from Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.) that brought the score to 71-42 at 6:58. From there, Canada outscored the USA 17-13 to bring the game to its 84-59 final.
“I think we wore them out,” Turner said. “We came out strong and we built a lead and kept going strong.”
Canada got 14 points apiece from Kia Nurse and Emma Wolfram.
Also today, Italy (5-2) beat Belgium (2-5) 63-55 to play for fifth place tomorrow, where it will meet Australia (4-3), which downed host Netherlands (4-3) 82-58 to advance. Belgium and the Netherlands will play for seventh place.
South Korea (3-4) won against Mali (1-6) to finish 9th and 10th, respectively, while Brazil (2-5) beat Turkey (0-7) for 11th and 12th place, respectively.
Schneider is assisted on the U.S. sideline 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.