Another international tournament, another gold medal for the USA U18 Women’s squad, who won the FIBA Americas Championship over the weekend – the seventh consecutive gold medal obtained by the American team. More from USA Basketball:
With a commanding 104-74 win over Canada (3-2) that saw the USA (5-0) paced by 25 points and 11 rebounds from tournament MVP A’ja Wilson (Heathwood Hall H.S./ Hopkins, S.C.), the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team (5-0) captured the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship gold medal on Sunday evening at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The gold medal was the USA U18 women’s seventh-straight and eighth overall, and the USA women are now 48-2 in FIBA Americas U18 Championship play since the event was first held in 1988. The victory also was the USA’s second win over Canada after handing the Canadians a 107-76 loss on Aug. 8 in the preliminary round.
In the bronze medal game, Argentina (3-2) edged out Brazil (2-3) 69-67. The top four tournament finishers, including the USA, Canada, Argentina and Brazil, qualified for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Russia.
“I thought Canada played extremely well,” said USA head coach Dawn Staley (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.”
Four additional players reached double-digits in a game that saw the USA take control in the first quarter. Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O’Fallon, Mo.) contributed 18 points and six rebounds; Beatrice Mompremier (Miami H.S./Miami, Fla.) finished with 16 points and eight rebounds; Jessica Shepard (Fremont H.S./Fremont, Neb.) added 14 points and seven rebounds; and Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S/Pearland, Texas) added 12 points.
Additionally, Mariya Moore (Salesian H.S./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.”