The USA and Japan have taken care of business at the U17 Women’s World Championships so far, entering the last day of the qualification round with perfect 4-0 records.
USA – Belgium 80-50
The US defeated Belgium 80-50 behind 17 points from Rebecca Greenwell, Diamond DeShields added 14 points and 11 rebounds and Kaela Davis contributed 12. Belgium’s Hind Ben Abdelkader had been one of the tournament’s leading scorers, averaging close to 20 points per game, but was held to seven by the Americans. Manon Grzensinski paced the Belgians losing effort with 10 points.
Japan – Spain 83-79
Japan earned their spot at the top of Group B with a victory over also previously unbeaten Spain, 83-79. The two squads gave their fans a show as they battled to a 40-39 score in Spain’s favor at the end of the first half. That margin was bumped to 63-61 at the end of the third quarter. The two teams kept the game close during the final stanza until Evelyn Mawuli sank a jumper with just over a minute to play to give the Japanese squad an 80-79 lead. Spain missed on their trip down the floor, but Mawuli took the ball inside and scored. She was fouled on the play, made her free throw and closed out the win. Ai Yamada led the Japanese with 20 points, tournament leading scorer Yunika Nakamura added 18, Mawuli scored 14 points and 15 rebounds, and Ayane Itani contributed 13 to the win. Leticia Romero paced all scorers with 22 points for Spain, Ariadna Pujol added 10 points, and Laura Quevedo scored nine points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Italy – South Korea 77-42
Italy improved to 3-1 with a convincing 79-53 victory over South Korea. Elisa Penna paced the Italians with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Cecilia Zandalasini added 11 points and nine rebounds. South Korea got 12 points and 15 rebounds from Ji Su Park, and 11 points from Jieun Park.
Canada – Mali 77-42
Canada denied Mali their first win by beating them 77-42. Kia Nurse’s 14 points paced the winners and Kolbie Orum contributed 13 to the winning effort. Mali got double figures out of Maimouna Diallo, but saw their record drop to 0-4 while Canada’s improved to 2-2.
Netherlands – Brazil 62-42
The Netherlands improved to 3-1 with a 62-42 win over Brazil, who drops to 0-4. The win sets up a final qualification round match-up with Spain for the second spot in Group B.
The Netherlands jumped out to an early 19-8 lead after one period of play, but Brazil fought back in the second, winning the quarter 17-10 and cutting the deficit to 29-25 at the half. The Netherlands poured it on in the third, outscoring Brazil by 15 and pushing the margin to 19 going into the final quarter. The two teams played even in he last quarter, giving the victory to the Dutch. Isabella Slim led the victors with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Monique Soares paced Brazil with 12.
Australia – Turkey 63-53
In the final contest of the day, the Australians outlasted the squad from Turkey to improve their tournament record to 2-2, Turkey falls to 0-4 on the loss.
After Turkey opened a 16-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Aussies came back with an 18-10 margin for the second stanza to go out in front 29-26. Australia extended their lead to five at the end of the third quarter, 44-39. Turkey got the margin down to one with six minutes to play after a three-pointer by Busra Akbas, then a steal by Ezgi Manlaci turned into a layup by Akbas and the score was 48-47, Australia. The teams traded baskets, the a jumper followed by a three off a steal gave the Aussies a six-point lead with 2:49 to play. Vanessa Panousis put the game away for Austalia going eight for eight from the free throw line in the last 1:49 of the game. Tiana Mangakahia and Louise Brown led the Australians with 13 points each and Brown hauled in 14 rebounds. Kulya Coklar paced the Turks with 15 points, Akbas added 13.
(by game points & goal average)
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