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USA equal record, Italy beat Belgium, Canada advance
AMSTERDAM (2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women) – While the United States tied a record at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women on the final day of the Preliminary Round, Italy beat Belgium to secure second place in Group A and then Canada knocked off Korea to also book a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
Team USA never were challenged in cruising past Mali 98-28 as four players scored in double digits and four more players scored at least 8 points.
Rebecca Greenwell, Diamond DeShields and Brianna Turner all hit for 13 points for the Americans, who equaled the tournament's record for the biggest winning margin of 70 points set by Spain at the 2010 event against Mali in a 112-42 victory.
“I think we’ve done well in pool play. But in the bracket (the Quarter-Finals and on) it’s all for naught. None of this matters from here on out,” said USA coach Jill Schneider, whose team plays Australia in the Final Eight.
“I think we’re happy that pool play is over and we can move on into the bracket.”
Mali, who dropped to 0-5 and finished last place in the group, were paced by Awa Keita with 10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot.
Mali’s 28 points were just one more than the negative record of fewest points in a game they set in their 80-27 loss against Belgium in 2010.
Italy clinched second place in the group following a hard-fought 59-51 victory over Belgium to improve to 4-1.
Elisa Penna collected 15 points and 13 rebounds while Elisa Ercoli had 11 points and 9 rebounds and Cecilia Zandalasini scored 14 points for the Italians.
Belgium dropped their third straight game to fall to 2-3 and take fourth place, setring up a Quarter-Final date with Japan.
Belgian ace Hind Ben Abdelkader scored 13 points but only made 2-of-17 from the field in doing so. No other Belgian player scored in double digits.
Canada secured third place in the group with a 74-61 victory over Korea to finish at 3-2.
Saicha Grant-Allen collected a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds while Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau had one of her own with 13 and 10 to go along with 4 steals and 3 steals. And Kia Nurse added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Korea, who needed a 19-point win over Canada to reach the knockout stages, fell to 1-4 and fifth place in the group despite 18 points from Kim Hee Jin and 12 points from Park Ji Eun.