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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, July 04, 2014

UConn commit Samuelson continues to shine at U17 Worlds

UConn commit Katie Lou Samuelson had 10 points, the fourth time in five games that she reached double digits, as the U.S. rolled to an 86-45 win over Canada in the quarterfinals of the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women. Samuelson added five rebounds while fellow UConn commit De'Janae Boykin had two points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Joyner Holmes led the U.S. with 24 points while UConn Class of 2015 recruiting target Arike Ogunbowale had 16 points, a team-high eight rebounds and her four steals matched the total of UConn Class of 2016 recruiting target Sabrina Ionescu for the team lead. The U.S. will play Hungary in Saturday's semifinals. The game time was originally listed as noon here in Connecticut on the USA Basketball release which would place it in the time slot when ESPNU is televising the semifinals. However, it is now listed as starting at 2:15 p.m. which is what the official site had as the listed time. ESPNU has an episode of E;60 followed by a previously recorded recap of the NCAA Division I Track and Field championships so I have to wonder if ESPNU would consider shifting its schedule around to show the U.S. game. I would recommend tuning into ESPNU tomorrow to see which semifinal they will be showing.

The U.S. held Canada's Bridget Carleton, an Iowa State commit who came into the game as the tournament's second-leading scorer, to seven points (11.5 under her tournament average) on 3 of 14 shooting.

Here are quotes from Boykin, Holmes, Ogunbowale and UConn recruiting target Lauren Cox courtesy of USA Basketball.

De'Janae Boykin
On tonight's game:
Today as a team, we did really great. We played together, as always.

Was there any worry of complacency, since you had previously beaten Canada?
They came out with great intensity, and so did we. We just kept it up.

Has the team continued to improve?
We have continued to improve every time we have played, working together and learning to play with each other.

On the team's defense:
Our defense has improved. Coach stresses defense all the time, and I really love defense myself. Defense is really a key point for this team.

How does it feel to reach the semifinals?
We are very excited, especially since today was the Fourth of July. This is our day basically, and to win feels great. We started the day off right, and we are one step closer to our goal.

Lauren Cox
On tonight's game:
I thought we played really well. Canada is a great team. We came out and played good defense.

On getting a win on the Fourth of July:
It was awesome playing on the Fourth of July. It's our country's day, and we are out here playing in a world championship representing our country, so it was awesome.

On the USA's depth:
We can put any five players in, and they can go win games. We don't have any drop off in intensity.

Was there any danger of being complacent having already beaten Canada in exhibition?
They had people out hurt when we played them last time, so were had to worry about them. They are a great team that can shoot the three, drive and play good defense, so I think we prepared really well for that.

On the USA's defense:
Coach always says, 'defense wins games,' and we are really trying to be known for our defense and lock down teams.

On reaching the semifinals:
It is really exciting. It is one step closer to our goal of winning a gold medal.

On Hungary:
It is going to be a tough game. It will be a challenge. We are going to work hard in practice tomorrow and watch film.

Joyner Holmes
On tonight's game:
I think we had great chemistry today, and we played very well. We got defensive boards, offensive boards and transition points, so I think we played well. A lot of our points come from our defense, because we get a lot of transition points.

What were some of the things the team was focused on?
We wanted to keep them off the boards, and we did that, and just playing together,

How do you feel about your performance?
I'm felt I did well, and I'm proud of myself, but I am going to just continue to keep working and getting better every day.

Arike Ogunbowale
On tonight's game:
I thought we played really well as a team. We kept our intensity up and played pretty good defense.

Did you get the start the team wanted?
We came out really hard. We have played them before, so we tried to pick the tempo up even more than in the last game.

On the USA's depth:
It makes it really easy for and the other guards on the team to be able to play with 11 other great players.

Was this the team's best game?
I don't know if it was our best game, but I think we have really improved since the exhibition tournament in France. I think we are taking the right steps.

On the USA's defense:
Coach really emphasizes defense, and when our defense is on, our offense just comes, so we have to really keep up the defense.

Was there any trouble staying focused?
I think we are pretty much always focused and motivated. We want to win the gold, so that motivates us.

On Hungary:
They are a physical team, and they are a good team, so we have to come out strong.

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