USA U19 World Championship Finalists Culminate Training Camp With 49-37 Exhibition Win Over Brazil
Orlando, Fla. • June 5, 2011
The 15 finalists for the 2011 USA U19 World Championship Team downed the Brazil U19 National Team 49-37 on Sunday afternoon at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resorts on Sunday afternoon in Orlando, Fla.
As part of the ESPN Rise Girls Showcase, the exhibition game culminated a week of training camp for the 2011 USA U19 World Championship Team finalists, and the official 12-member 2011 USA U19 World Championship Team roster is expected to be announced this afternoon.
In a game that featured four tied scores and five lead changes, the USA was led by 15 points, six rebounds and five blocks from Elizabeth Williams (Princess Anne H.S. / Virginia Beach, Va.) and 11 points, seven rebounds and five blocks from Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North Syracuse H.S. / North Syracuse, N.Y.).
“I was really happy with the effort,” said Jennifer Rizzotti, USA U19 World Championship Team and University of Hartford head coach. “I think we didn’t always execute very well, and we probably didn’t focus on some finishing. Those are things you can work on and fine tune, you can’t really coach effort. So, I was really happy that they brought that energy and enthusiasm and they were ready to play.”
The USA shot just 32.8 percent from the field overall (22-67 FGs), but it was bolstered by 31 points off of the bench and its defense. The USA, which finished with 11 blocked shots, forced Brazil into 23 turnovers and just 25.4 percent (15-59 FGs) shooting from the field.
“I think we all started off a little bit slow, because the game was pretty physical,” Williams said. “I think I started finishing pretty well when I took the contact better than I originally did, so that helped a lot. I was trying to be a little more patient and play some good defense. Our team defense really helped us out, because offensively we weren’t really clicking.”
Both teams struggled in the early going, combining for 15 turnovers in the first 10 minutes. Brazil took a 5-0 lead to start the game, with all five points coming from Tassia Carcavalli. The USA’s first point came from an Alexis Jones (Irving MacArthur H.S. / Irving, Texas) free throw, followed by four points from Williams on the block to tie the score, 5-5. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei H.S. / Anaheim, Calif.) answered Brazil’s final bucket of the quarter with a jumper at 1:18, and the teams headed into the first break tied 7-7.
Down 11-7 at the beginning of the second quarter, the USA compiled its first run of the game, a 5-0 spurt that ended with the USA taking its first lead, 12-11, on another Jones pull-up at 6:51. The teams traded buckets for the next three minutes, and the score once again was knotted at 18 apiece with 3:01 remaining.
Stewart scored off of an assist from Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S. / Bolingbrook, Ill.), followed by consecutive baskets by Williams, and the USA headed to the halftime locker room with a 23-18 advantage. Two made baskets from each team brought the score to 27-22 at the first TV timeout of the second half, and the USA went on to improve its advantage by two points in the third quarter as Stewart converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 46.3 on the clock to end the period with the Americans leading 34-27.
“I think our games start with defense, and then we let our offense come to us,” Stewart said. “We are always trying to contest shots and trying to make them take the most ifficult shots. If we get a block, we get a block.”
Brazil continued to fight through to the final buzzer but never drew closer than seven points in the fourth quarter. In fact, the USA took its largest lead of the game at 3:59 when Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S. / Norcross, Ga.) dished inside to Williams. Led by five points from Mosqueda-Lewis, five players helped the USA outscore Brazil 15-10 in the last 10 minutes to bring the game to its 49-37 final.
Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook H.S. / Bolingbrook, Ill.) collected four steals for the red, white and blue, and three U.S. players collected five rebounds apiece, including Cierra Burdick (Butler H.S. / Matthews, N.C.), DeShields and Mosqueda-Lewis.
Brazil was led by 16 points from Carcavalli, and Damiris Dantas do Amaral was the leading rebounder with nine boards.
Assistant coaches for the USA U19 World Championship Team are Sue Semrau of Florida State University and Joi Williams of the University of Central Florida.
The USA U19 World Championship Team will reassemble July 11-15 for training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., before the team travels to Chile for its final preparations.
“I want them to get in shape and make sure they are ready, because I don’t want the next training camp to be a trial period again, where they are sore and they are trying to get in shape,” Rizzotti said. “They need to take care of their bodies and get themselves ready to compete. We play a lot of games in a short amount of days, and we don’t have a lot of time to get ready.”
As the winner of the past three U19 World Championships, the USA will look to defend its title at the 2011 U19 Worlds, hosted by Chile from July 21-31 in Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas.
The USA has been drawn into Group B for preliminary round play and will tip-off against Japan on July 21 (12:30 p.m. EDT), face Russia on July 22 (12:30 p.m. EDT) and close the first round against Argentina on July 23 (3:30 p.m. EDT). The second round will be played July 25-27, quarterfinals are slated for July 29, semifinals will be held on July 30 and the finals are scheduled for July 31.