Ruthy Hebard had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Megan Walker, who will play at UConn, chipped in 11 points to help the USA U19 Women’s World Cup Team to a 73-66 semifinals victory over Japan on Saturday at Udine, Italy.
Team USA improved to 6-0 in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup tournament. They will play in the gold medal game on Sunday against Russia (6-0), which defeated Canada 65-41 in the day’s other semifinal.
In a close contest for the game’s first 10 minutes, the USA led 24-22, then outscored Japan 23-11 in the second quarter. The U.S. led 47-33 at intermission.
In the fourth period, Japan made a game of it by outscoring the Americans 23-8.
Hebard, from Fairbanks, Alaska, was 11-15 shooting from the floor and Chennedy Carter (Mansfield, Texas) added 19 points and seven rebounds. Walker added four rebounds.
UConn’s Crystal Dangerfield had an off game, making 1 of 9 shots for three points along with two assists and two steals.
The USA outrebounded Japan 50-39 and outscored Japan 52-30 in the paint.