USA Women's U19 National Team Clips Canada 64-50
July 27, 2009 - Bangkok, Thailand
|Kelsey Bone, who is headed to play for Dawn Staley at the University of South Carolina in the fall, scored 14 points against Canada and pulled down seven boards.|
The 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team (3-1) utilized a 15-2 run at the end of the first quarter to pull away from Canada (2-2) and went on to capture a 64-50 victory. The game, which commenced second round action at the FIBA U19 World Championship on Monday night in Bangkok, Thailand, saw three U.S. players score in double digits, led by Kelsey Bone (Dulles H.S. /Stafford, Texas) and Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State / Dix Hills, N.Y.) with 14 points each and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford / Cypress, Texas) added 11 points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
Up next for the USA is Russia (4-0), which is undefeated, on July 28 (4:15 a.m. EDT) and the U.S. closes second round play against Japan (1-2) on July 29 (2:00 a.m. EDT).
-We wanted to get Kelsey Bone going, and she did," said Carol Owens, USA and Northern Illinois University head coach. -Sammy (Prahalis) really stepped up big and played a lot of minutes for us tonight. Not having Skylar (Diggins), we had to have some people step up. Kelly (Faris) stepped us for us, also Lay (Clarendon) did a great job of coming off the bench and contributing.
-In the first quarter we were really concerned with their size. They start a pretty big line-up and we had to decide what defense would be best for us. We felt like transition would be a key, we wanted to pick up a little bit full court to get the game going in our favor. Initially we started the game out slow and we had to pick it up defensively. We did that. We caught them by surprise by picking them up full court. It really disrupted what they wanted to do. I was very pleased with that."
It took almost seven minutes for the USA to find its rhythm. After eight lead changes and three knotted scores, Canada hit a bucket a 3:21 to go up 10-7. Owens called a time out to regroup and her strategy worked.
-We are a team that sometimes has a tendency to come out a little slow," said University of South Carolina freshman-to-be Bone. -It's hard for us to dig ourselves out of a hole late, so she wanted us to pick up our intensity. We knew that once we picked up the intensity and started getting it going, once our posts and our guards started hitting some shots, that they wouldn't be able to guard us one through five."
Out of the time out the United States put full-court pressure on Canada, frustrating the Canucks into no less than three turnovers over a three-minute span, while its offense went to work on the opposite end. At 3:01 Layshia Clarendon (Cajon H.S. / San Bernadino, Calif.), who finished with six points, hit a bucket from a Prahalis assist. That, along with continuous defensive pressure by the American women, sparked a 15-1 scoring run that saw six different players score and by the end of the first quarter the U.S. was up 22-12. In all, Canada was forced into five turnovers and made just 5-of-18 attempts from the field in the first stanza.
-Our defense stepped up," said Prahalis. -A couple times we got steals on the outside and the posts fought on the inside to get rebounds. Limiting their rebounds and playing good perimeter defense was what did it."
-We kind of knew that with their personnel, they hadn't been pressured a lot throughout the tournament and their guards weren't going to be expecting it because we haven't shown it," added Bone. -So once we pulled it out, we got a lot of turnovers right when we did it. It was very effective."
The lead quickly ballooned to 18 points as the USA opened the second quarter on a 12-4 run to take a 34-16 lead at 6:58. With 2:05 to play in the half, the U.S. was up 39-20. However, the U.S. lapsed on defense and Canada's Laura Dally hit back-to-back threes and the halftime lead was cut to 39-26.
Canada got a put-back to open the second half, however the USA reeled off 10 unanswered points, four each from Bone and Prahalis, and the U.S. held its largest lead of the game, 49-28. While Canada never seriously threatened, the USA's neighbors to the north never stopped fighting. By the end of the third quarter the score was 54-37 and Canada outscored the U.S. in the fourth quarter for the 64-50 final.
Canada's Taryn Wicijowski grabbed a game-high 16 points, Kayla Alexander, who entered the game as the tournament's top rebounder averaging 13.3 rpg., was Canada's leading scorer with 12 points and added nine rebounds, and Dally shot 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and finished with 10 points.
The American women forced 21 Canadian turnovers and were credited with 12 steals, however, Canada outrebounded the United States 46-38.
Skylar Diggins (Washington H.S. / South Bend, Ind.) was sick and did not play.
The second round runs through July 29. The top four finishing teams in each second round group will advance to compete in the July 31 quarterfinals. Semifinal action is scheduled for Aug. 1 and the gold medal will be contested on Aug. 2.
The other Group F games featured Russia (4-0) taking a narrow 67-62 win from China (1-3), while Spain (3-0) plays Japan (1-2) in the day's late game. In Group E, Czech Republic (3-1) assailed Argentina (2-2) xx-xx, Australia (4-0 remained undefeated after downing Lithuania (2-2) 69-53, while Brazil (2-1) and France (1-2) tip-off in the late game. In classification play, Mali (1-3) defeated Tunisia (0-4) 53-35 and South Korea (1-3) picked up a 66-55 win over host Thailand (0-4).
Owens is being assisted by collegiate head coaches Amanda Butler of the University of Florida and Bill Fennelly of Iowa State University.
The 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship features 16 national teams comprised of athletes 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1990) that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments.