Joyner Holmes recorded a team-high 14 rebounds and scored nine points to help Team USA defeat Italy 66-49 at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Udine, Italy Tuesday.
The win advances the Texas sophomore and Team USA to the round of 16 where they will face Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
The U.S. finished group play at 3-0 and if they win Wednesday they’ll advance to the quarterfinals on Friday. Semifinals are Saturday with the gold and bronze medal games to be played Sunday.
Holmes was 4-for-9 from the field and added two assists and two steals.
“I knew the team we were playing had that home-court advantage,” Holmes said. “They had everything on their side, so I knew we had to come with it. We had some post players in foul trouble, so I wanted to make sure I came with it in terms of energy on offensive and defensive sides. That’s what I brought tonight.”
Alecia Sutton, who led Team USA with 19 points in last Saturday’s opener, started the game but contributed just two assists and a rebound. She struggled from the field, going 0-for-5.
Through group play, Holmes averaged a double-double (10.7 points-11 rebounds) while Sutton had 7.3 points per game and two rebounds per contest. Holmes’ 11 rebounds per game leads the team. She’s second on the team in scoring.
The U.S. shot just 35.1 percent against Italy, but a 28-point third quarter put them in control.
Team USA’s FIBA U19 World Cup schedule
Saturday, July 22
USA 95, Mali 58
Sunday, July 23
USA 91, China 51
Tuesday, July 25
USA 66, Italy 49
Wednesday, July 26
Round of 16
USA vs. Puerto Rico, 11 a.m., Cividale del Friuli, Italy
Friday, July 28
Classification and Medal Quarterfinals
Saturday, July 29
Classification and Medal Semifinals
Sunday, July 30
Gold Medal Game
Bronze Medal Game