Aug. 10, 2014
Sunday's box score: Click here.
Paris Kea and her USA teammates delivered a golden performance on Sunday night.
Facing Canada in the championship game of the FIBA tournament, the USA squad stormed to a 104-74 victory to complete an undefeated tournament run and capture the gold medal.
Kea, an incoming Vanderbilt freshman, finished with four points and six assists in 16 minutes of action. She also pulled down one rebound.
"It was the most exciting game of my life," said Kea, the former standout at Page High in Greensboro, N.C. "We knew their weaknesses and strengths.
The USA now owns a 48-2 all-time record in the U18 division, and has won seven straight gold medals.
"(Winning the gold) felt great," Kea said. "I was jumping around and everybody was looking at me like, ‘Paris, what are you doing?’ I was like, ‘I’m too excited you guys!’
Kea saw action in all five games of the tournament, totaling 19 points (3.8 per game), 11 rebounds and 17 assists.
The USA's A'ja Wilson had 25 points and 11 rebounds in the title game, and was named the tournament's MVP.
The victory was the USA's second win over Canada after handing the Canadians a 107-76 loss on Aug. 8 in the preliminary round.
"I thought Canada played extremely well," said USA head coach Dawn Staley (the head coach at the University of South Carolina). "I just thought overall, over a 40-minute period, I thought we kept fresh legs in there and made them play a little bit quicker than they wanted to play. I thought our players just really, on both sides of the ball, executed the game plan."
In addition to Wilson, four other players reached double-digits for the USA: Napheesa Collier (O'Fallon, Mo.) contributed 18 points and six rebounds; Beatrice Mompremier (Miami, Fla.) finished with 16 points and eight rebounds; Jessica Shepard (Fremont, Neb.) added 14 points and seven rebounds; and Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas) added 12 points.
Mariya Moore (Richmond, Calif.) dished out seven assists, and Wilson with 11 attempted free throws tied the USA U18 single-game record - a mark that was set by Turner on Aug. 8 and also matched by Shepard on Aug. 9.
"This game was special because it was the gold medal game," Wilson said. "We took care of business and executed everything. Great things started to happen, and things fell into place. It was a great game."
The USA outrebounded Canada 54-25, including 25 offensive boards. The USA scored 62 points in the paint compared to Canada's 14.