PUERTO MONTT (2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women) - The dynamic backcourt duo of Bria Hartley and Ariel Massengale have spearheaded the USA to an ominous Semi-Final win over an out-matched Brazil at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Puerto Montt, Chile.
Hartley scored 20 points, all in the first half, while Massengale finished with 10 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds. The pair kept the USA playing the open style of game that they are comfortable with, creating numerous easy baskets for teammates in transition.
The USA led at every change and ran out comfortable 82-66 winners, but midway through the third quarter their victory looked anything but sure.
With their lead at 51-36 just after half time, Brazil charged and brought the crowd of more than 3000 to fever pitch. Tassia Carcavalli and Joice Coelho nailed triples to reduce the margin to nine points, then Damiris Dantas, Coelho and Thamara Silva scored from inside in quick succession.
When Coelho scored again the score was 55-50 with 3:30 remaining. Though Hartley and Massengale captained the boat, it was Kaleena Lewis who steadied the US ship.
With the Brazilians in full flight, the fearless Lewis (8 points) nailed three pressure jump shots bridging three quarter time to ease the pressure, setting the USA back on their aggressive course as they outscored Brazil 27-16 from that point.
Cierra Burdick was also strong for the USA with 11 points and 9 rebounds. For Brazil, Dantas again led the way with 13 points and 8 rebounds, but was well contained by the disciplined US defence. Coelho (12 points) and Carcavalli (11 points) provided at times flamboyant support.
Early in the game Brazil looked the better team, opening up an 11-5 lead as Dantas and Isabela Romana, the heroes from their quarter final, got on the board early. The pace of the game suited the USA however, and Hartley led a 15-4 charge that put the game on the defending champion's terms.
While the South Americans would close to within four points early in the second period, the US would surge again, scoring 16-5 on the back of Hartley, Burdick and the lightning quick Massengale to take a 49-36 half time lead.
From there Brazil made their emotional run, but the USA steadied and showed they were clearly the better team, earning the right to take on Spain for the gold medal at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women.
Brazil will face Australia in the bronze medal playoff.
Jennifer Rizzotti, USA coachi: We are very happy to be in the final but a little sad because we had to beat Brazil to get there.
We have a lot of respect for Brazil, we forged relationships with them last year in Colorada Springs when we had to play them a lot. We have a lot of respect for their pride in their country and their play, and we brought our best game tonight because we think Brazil are one of the best teams in the world.
Luis Cicchetto, Brazil coach: The USA is a very strong team. All the teams that made it into the best four in the world had to work very hard.
It’s very hard for the players because they don’t get a chance to rest very much. It is very hard for some of the girls because they had to play almost the whole time, and it is very hard in order to have a good performance against such a good team as the USA.
|P||HARTLEY 20||DANTAS 13|
|RB||BURDICK 9||DANTAS 8|
|A||MASSENGALE 9||CARCAVALLI 3|
|S||MASSENGALE 2||COELHO 3|
|B||STEWART 2||LAMBERT 1|
(W/L: 6-1 )
|Points for (avg)||77.1|
|Points against (avg)||61.4|
|2 Points FG||47.3%|
|3 Points FG||31.9%|
(W/L: 6-1 )
|Points for (avg)||72.6|
|Points against (avg)||57.4|
|2 Points FG||39%|
|3 Points FG||29.5%|