The USA and Spain will battle for the title at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women in Amsterdam. The USA, the defending champions at the event, defeated Canada 84-59 while Spain destroyed Japan 91-62.
The United States won despite very poor shooting from their top scorers. The team shot only 33% for the game with Rebecca Greenwell (2-for-14), Diamond DeShields (2-for-13) and Linnae Harper (4-for-16) contributing to their shooting woes. Canada stayed close through the first half, actually taking a 28-26 lead in the second quarter before the USA pulled out to a 41-32 halftime lead. The USA gradually expanded their lead in the second half.
The difference in the game was the rebounding prowess of the Americans. The USA out-rebounded Canada 69-41 with a wide 38-9 advantage on the offensive boards. Canada also was forced into 31 turnovers.
Harper led the USA with 11 points with Kaela Davis and Oderah Chodom adding 10 each. Greenwell pulled down 12 rebounds. Kia Nurse and Emma Wolfram led Canada with 14 each. Canada will now face Japan for third place.
Spain went into halftime with a nine-point lead over Japan and then outscored the Japanese 46-26 in the second half in their big win. Shooting guard Leticia Romero was outstanding for Spain, hitting 13-of-17 shots from the field in scoring 27 points. 6’2 Maria Arrojo helped out with 21 points in only 17 minutes of action.
Spain shot over 50% for the game and had a +17 advantage on the boards. Ai Yamada led Japan with 14 points.
Australia and Italy will battle for 5th place tomorrow. Australia defeated the Netherlands 82-58 as point guard Tania Mangakahia scored 18 points to go along with 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Vanessa Panousis added 17 points and Keely Froling contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds in the win.
Italy topped Belgium 63-55 as Marzia Tagliamento (18) and Elisa Penna (17) combined for 35 points. Belgium’s Hind Ben Abdulkader led all scorers with 24 points but took 32 shots, shooting 5-for-22 on three-pointers.
South Korea took 9th place defeated Mali 57-39 and Brazil topped Turkey 66-61 for 11th place.
Thanks to FIBA for the photos!