Women's Basketball
USA U18 Women Crush Puerto Rico 116-36

<i>Photo credit: USA Basketball</i>

Photo credit: USA Basketball

July 25, 2008

Courtesy of USA Basketball

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - The 2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team (3-0) took its first lead 19 seconds into its game against winless Puerto Rico (0-3) Friday night in the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and never looked back. Racing to an 80-point romp that featured six U.S. scorers in double digits, the 116-36 win was the USA's largest margin of victory yet.

In today's other games, Brazil (2-1) beat Venezuela (1-2) 89-76; while host Argentina (1-1) plays Canada (1-1) at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. EDT).

"I thought our kids did a great job of executing our offense tonight and playing at our level," said USA and Northern Illinois head coach Carol Owens. "Puerto Rico played a lot of zone defense, but we obviously handled it well. I still think we need to shoot better from the free throw line, but the girls did a good job of staying focused despite the score.

"Coming into tonight's game I wanted us to be more efficient in taking care of the ball and crashing the glass, so we set a goal of no more than 18 turnovers and at least 20 offensive boards, and we accomplished that. I think because we had goals, we were able to stay focused throughout, and the team maintained its intensity."

Statistically dominate in nearly every category, the red, white and blue outrebounded Puerto Rico an astounding 62-18 and tallied 26 fast break points to Puerto Rico's zero transition baskets.

Ashley Corral (Prairie H.S. / Vancouver, Wash.) was the game's high scorer with 16 points to go with four assists, three rebounds and two steals. Lynetta Kizer (Potomac H.S. / Woodbridge, Va.) contributed 13 points and four rebounds; while Sarah Boothe (Warren Township H.S. / Gurnee, Ill.), Skylar Diggins (Washington H.S. / South Bend, Ind.) and Samantha Prahalis (Commack H.S. / Dix Hills, N.Y.) each scored 12 points. Joslyn Tinkle (Big Sky H.S. / Missoula, Mont.) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Led by Nneka Ogwumike (Cy-Fair H.S. / Cypress, Texas), who tallied all nine of her points in the first quarter, the Americans had jumped to a 25-6 lead after the first 10 minutes.

 

 

The next ten minutes featured Corral, who tallied eight points in the second period as the USA outscored Puerto Rico 30-13 to bring the U.S. advantage to 36 points at halftime, 55-19.

"Our inside-out game really worked well tonight, and we were knocking down shots when the posts kicked the ball out," Corral said. "The scoreboard wasn't really the issue, it was our team goals that we were really focused on going after, and we made progress. We turned the ball over half as much as we used to and we double our rebounds. I think we got a lot better."

Kelsey Bone (Dulles H.S. / Stafford, Texas) and Boothe combined on the interior for 14 of the USA's 30 third quarter points, while Argentina managed just 11. And in its highest scoring period of the tournament, the USA posted 31 points to Puerto Rico's six in the fourth quarter to bring the final tally to 116-36.

Alyssia Brewer (Sapulpa H.S. / Sapulpa, Okla.) grabbed 11 rebounds to go with her nine points; and Kelly Faris (Heritage Christian / Plainfield, Ind.) recorded six points, six rebounds and six assists.

"We did a good job doing the small things tonight, getting up and down the court and hitting he floor after loose balls," Brewer said. "We moved the ball well and found the open people."

The 2008 zone qualifier is being played in a round robin format, with the top four finishing teams earning a berth into the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship. The USA next plays Brazil at 3 p.m. (4 p.m. EDT) on July 26, followed by Argentina at 7 p.m. on July 27.

"I expect a fast-paced game against Brazil," Owens said. "They like to score in transition, and that's a big part of their offense. We have to be able to contain their transition game. They have some big guards and some big post players, so we really need to be ready to defend."

Owens is assisted on the U.S. sideline by Bill Fennelly of Iowa State University and Terri Mitchell of Marquette University.

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