CANCUN, Mexico -- The USA U16 Women's National Team jumped to an 8-0 lead in the first three minutes of its opening game against Brazil (0-1) in the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship,and looked back en route to a convincing 76-20 win on Wednesday at Polifórum Benito Juárez.
Asia Durr of St. Pius X (Atlanta) led the USA with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point, and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Katie Lou Samuelson of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) added nine points and six rebounds, while DeJanae Boykin of C.H. Flowers (Springdale, Md.) had eight points and six rebounds and Lauren Cox of Flower Mound (Texas) had seven points and eight rebounds.
The USA, using various pressure defenses, forced 19 turnovers by halftime and 29 overall.
"We definitely wanted to force the tempo," said Sue Phillips , USA head coach from Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.). " I thought we were really playing at a pace that favored Brazil, so we went to more of a trapping, pressing scheme, both in the full court and half court, and I really thought that changed the game.
"I do think, however, that we need to do a better job of taking care of the basketball," she added. "There is a balance we need to find in creating havoc on the defensive end and then taking advantage of the transition opportunities, while slowing it up when we need to. We just need to get better at that."
The USA committed 23 turnovers of its own in the game, but out-rebounded Brazil 53-33.
Two free throws from Durr kicked things off for the USA at 8:23, and that lead quickly expanded to 8-0 after consecutive 3-pointers from Sabrina Ionescu of Miramonte (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and Durr at 8:00 and 7:39, respectively. Brazil came to life to trade baskets with the USA over the next four minutes, and the U.S. lead stood at 13-5 after a fast-break bucket from the South Americans. The USA closed the quarter on an 11-0 run, however, to finish the first 10 minutes with a 24-5 lead.
"When coach told us to get up and pressure the ball, I think that's what changed the tempo in the game," Durr said. "I think we played well. There were times where we didn't box out, and we left our players wide open. I think if we make the adjustment, we will be okay."
The second half was much the same, but Brazil never quit fighting. The USA outscored Brazil in the third quarter 15-5 and 13-6 in the fourth to earn the 76-20 win. Nine U.S. players had scored by halftime, and all 12 registered points before the game's end.
"We definitely showed up to play," Ionescu said. "We've been training for this for a week, for this exact moment. So, I think we came out and we got the job done."
The U.S. defense also held its opponent to just 16 percent from the field and kept Brazil scoreless from deep despite 12 3-point attempts from Brazil, which was led by five points from Aline De Moura.
The USA next will play Argentina (1-0) at 6 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday and Costa Rica (0-1) at 2 p.m. (CDT) on Friday.
All games are being streamed live online at FIBAAmericas.com.