USA U19 World Championship Women Rout Russia 76-53
July 22, 2011 • Puerto Montt, Chile
Like their first game, four players again scored in double digits, this time it was a game-high 16 from Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S. / Norcross, Ga.), as the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team (2-0) ran out to a 65-32 advantage through three quarters before settling in for the 76-53 victory over Russia (1-1) at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship on Friday afternoon in Puerto Montt, Chile.
Adding to the USA’s tally were Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North Syracuse H.S. / North Syracuse, N.Y.) with 14 points in as many minutes; Duke-bound Elizabeth Williams (Princess Anne H.S. / Virginia Beach, Va.) notched the game’s only double-double with 11 points and 10 boards, six on the offensive end; while Bria Hartley (Connecticut / North Babylon, N.Y.) scored 10 points and had five steals.
In today’s second Group B game, Japan (1-1) defeated Argentina (0-2) 90-71.
The United States closes preliminary round play against Argentina on July 23 at 11:15 a.m. (all times EDT). The second round, in which the top three finishing teams from each pool advance, 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. FIBATV.com will stream live online the medal semifinals and medal finals.
“We came out with much better intensity on the defensive end today,” said Jennifer Rizzotti, USA U19 World Championship Team and University of Hartford head coach. “We were able to take advantage of our depth and athleticism and get a lot of points off of our defense. I want this team to win because of their defense. I want them to pick up and I want them to disrupt people. I want them to dictate what other people have to run. I thought they did a much better job today of dictating what Russia did, rather than reacting to what Japan did, like they did yesterday.”
The U.S. scored first and never trailed. However, both teams were sluggish to start and with fewer than four minutes to play in the opening stanza, Russia knotted the score at 6-all. Hartley drove through traffic and went up for a layup on the USA’s next possession, sparking a 12-1 run that spanned the remainder of the quarter and left the U.S. ahead 18-7.
“Coach Rizzotti told us that we definitely have to focus a lot more on our defensive effort,” said Williams. “I think we could all see that our effort wasn’t what it should have been. Today we picked up our effort level defensively, so that helped us get our offense going.”
Russia cut the gap to single digits twice in the opening minutes of the second half and with 8:06 to go before halftime the USA’s lead was nine points, 21-12. That’s when the American women’s defense, which forced 15 first half turnovers by Russia, really clamped down, allowing the U.S. to show off its offensive skills. Reeling off 11 unanswered points in a 14-2 run, by the 2:47 mark the red, white and blue was well in command, 35-14. By halftime the lead was up to 21, 40-19.
Coming out of their locker room, the Americans wasted no time in erasing any doubts as to the game’s outcome. Behind 10 points from Stewart, the U.S. outscored Russia 21-5 to open the third quarter and take its largest lead of the game, 61-23, with 12:11 remaining in the game. From there the Americans eased up and sailed in for the eventual win.
“The game today, there’s a long-time rivalry with Russia that Carol (Callan) and Coach Rizzotti were trying to warn us about,” said DeShields. “They take a lot of pride in the game that was about to (be played). Since we haven’t been a part of previous years, we had to hold up the tradition and come out as hard as Russia did. It was more a mental thing in the beginning. Defensively, the team came together really nice. The help side was there, everything was good, so we got to pull out the win.”
In addition to the double-digit scorers, the USA received nine points, six rebounds and a pair of assists from Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook H.S. / Bolingbrook, Ill.) and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei H.S. / Anaheim, Calif.) pulled down six rebounds and had six steals.
Kseniya Andreeva was Russia’s leading scorer with 15 points.
The USA had five players with two fouls each in the first half, including inside players Cierra Burdick (Butler H.S. / Matthews, N.C.), Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut / Port Jervis, N.Y.) and Malina Howard (Twinsburg H.S. / Twinsburg, Ohio), all of whose playing time was limited.
The USA outrebounded Russia 47-29, scored 10 points off Russia’s 25 turnovers, got 34 in the paint and also had 12 second-chance points; whereas Russia scored zero points from the USA’s 18 miscues, zero second-chance points and just 10 in the paint. Further, the U.S. shot 40.3 percent (27-67 FGs) from the field and held Russia to just 25.9 percent (15-58 FGs) of its field goals.
The USA, which is assured of advancing to the next round as the No. 1 seed coming out of Group B, will face Argentina, which has been mathematically eliminated from the second round, in its final preliminary round contest.
“They’re very physical and they’re very fast,” said Mosqueda-Lewis regarding the USA’s next opponent. “They’re probably going to try to get into all the gaps that we have on defense. They’re going to try to rough us up a little bit, so we have to be tough. We’ve got to stand our ground and cut off penetration without fouling.”
In other games today, Italy (2-0) defeated China (1-1) 70-64, while Egypt and Canada will face off at 6:00 p.m. in Group A play; Group C saw France (2-0) claim a win by forfeit over Nigeria and host Chile (0-1) faces Australia (1-0) at 6:45 p.m.; in Group D Spain (0-1) and Taiwan (1-0) play at 8:15 p.m. and Slovenia (0-1) will clash with Brazil (1-0) at 9:00 p.m.
Only U.S. citizens who are 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1992) are eligible for this team.
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.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years from 1985 through 2005. FIBA now conducts the U19 World Championship every other year. Prior to this year’s start, USA women's teams were 49-11 all-time in U19/Junior World Championships, most recently capturing a third consecutive gold with an 8-1 record in 2009.