Aug. 7, 2014
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Vanderbilt incoming freshman Paris Kea had seven points, four rebounds and three assists to help the USA national U18 team roll to a 104-55 victory over Mexico in the first round of the the FIBA Americas U18 Championship on Wednesday night in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Kea saw 21 minutes of action, and finished 3-of-6 from the floor.
Five U.S. players finished in double figures, and the team scored 84 of its points from the paint during the win at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The U.S. squad will play El Savador on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. (central) in the second round.
The USA team, which is seeking its seventh straight gold medal in the U18 tourney, improved its all-time record to 43-2 in the FIBA tournament since its inception in 1988.
"We came out energized; we made a conscious effort to get the post players the ball and take advantage of our size," said USA head coach Dawn Staley (the head coach of South Carolina). "I think for the most part they executed the game plan."
Finishing with 16 points apiece were Jessica Shepard (Fremont H.S./Fremont, Neb.) and Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S/Pearland, Texas), who also grabbed seven rebounds; while A'ja Wilson (Heathwood Hall H.S./ Hopkins, S.C.) finished with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double; Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O'Fallon, Mo.) added 10 points and eight rebounds; and Destinee Walker (Lake Highland Prep School/Ocoee, Fla.) scored 10 points.
The USA used its size advantage to outrebound Mexico 53-17, and used its depth to tally 55 points off of the bench. The U.S. defense held Mexico to just 30.1 percent shooting from the field.
The USA took control early, opening the game on a 14-2 run, and the lead swelled to 34-10 early in the second quarter. The largest lead of the night, 49 points, came with with 3.2 seconds when Ariel Atkins (Duncanville H.S./Duncanville, Texas) scored. She finished with a game-high four steals.
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