Aug. 9, 2014
For Saturday's box score: Click here.
For live-streaming link: Click here.
Vanderbilt freshman Paris Kea and her teammates are now just one step away from capturing a gold medal.
Posting a 91-57 victory over Argentina on Saturday night, the USA U18 national team advanced to the title game of the FIBA Championship tournament in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The USA team, seeking its seventh straight gold medal, will play Canada at 6:30 p.m. (CST) on Sunday night in the championship game. The Americans handed Canada its lone loss of the competition with a 107-76 victory in the preliminary round on Aug. 8.
Kea scored two points and had one assist in 12 minutes of playing time for the USA squad in Saturday's semifinals.
A'ja Wilson finished 10-for-11 from the floor while scoring a game-high 23 points for the USA. She added nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
The USA team -- which improved its all-time FIBA tournament record to 46-2 in the U18 age division -- jumped out to an 11-0 lead to set the tone against Argentina (2-2) and then limited Argentina to just 16 second-half points to seal the the win.
For the night, the USA recorded 24 assists and won the rebounding battle 53-23.
"I thought we put a good first half together in which we built ourselves a big lead, and then we had a letdown in the second half," said USA head coach Dawn Staley (the head coach at the University of South Carolina). "I don't know if it was their youth or just being complacent, letting their guards down, and if it was, then it's our job as coaches to keep them level. I think we got exposed on not boxing out, and we want our players to constantly create good habits just so they can get better as individuals, and put ourselves in a position to win a gold medal."
Scoring 11 points each for the USA were Marina Mabrey (Manasquan, N.J.), Jessica Shepard (Fremont, Neb.) and Beatrice Mompremier (Miami, Fla.). Mompremier added eight rebounds.
Canada advanced to the gold-medal game by beating Brazil, 67-60. Brazil and Argentina will meet in the bronze medal game at 4:30 p.m. (CST). All games are live online at www.fibaamericas.com.
The USA, Argentina, Brazil and Canada, by ensuring top-four finishes in the tournament, qualified for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Russia.