If you like points, you'd have loved the the U.S. Under-17 team's first game in the FIBA World Championships: Team USA hung 131 on South Korea to win the opening game in Amsterdam, but also gave up a bunch in a 131-89 win.
The Americans didn't limit themselves to one kind of offense, either. Team USA scored 40 points off the fast break, led by Rebecca Greenwell who had a game high 23 points and seven assists. The Americans also dominated inside, scoring 70 points in the paint and two players notched a double-double: Brianna Turner with 20 and 10, and Taya Reimer at 15 and 10. Mercedes Russell also impressed going 8-for-8 from the field on the way to 17 points. Meanwhile, South Korea supplied the counterpoint by raining three-pointers.
“It was an unselfishly played game on our part, and everybody was looking for each other,” said USA head coach Jill Rankin Schneider. “It was a nice way to open the tournament for us.”
Early on, South Korea was dialed in from three-point range, hitting seven threes in the first quarter (14 in the game) and trailed the USA by a slim 37-30 margin after one.
“We could have done a better job defensively. They were just knocking down shots, and we were contesting,“ said USA point guard Lindsey Allen of the South Koreans. “They are a great shooting team, and they made a lot of shots tonight. In the second half, we tightened up and did a better job.”
In the second quarter Team USA outscored the Koreans 33-19 to open up 20-point lead at the half. The United States used its size and quickness to widen the gap in the second half and won the rebounding battle 64-27.
The United States shot a blistering 65 percent from the field with a total of seven players in double figures: Diamond Deshields and Kaela Davis both had 12 points while Oderah Chidom added 11. Heejin Kim who had 18 points led South Korea.
The United States will face Canada in the second round on Saturday.
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