A 19-point performance by Alexis Prince helped the United States advance to the semifinal round of the U18 FIBA Americas tournament after a 87-36 win over Colombia on Friday in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. The win also qualified Team USA for the 2013 U19 World Championship in Lithuania next July.
In addition to leading all scorers, Prince went three of six from behind the arc, and added six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Team USA hit 10 three-pointers in the game, including five by Michaela Mabrey, who finished the game with 15 points. Overall, the Americans shot 62.5 percent from behind the arc, breaking the previous single game record of 57 percent against Brazil in 1993.
“The team came out strong,” said Prince, who will play for Baylor this fall. “We had a good offensive game. I think today was one of our best offensive games so far because the three was falling. Usually we don’t shot a high percentage of threes, but today we did. Our defense was pretty good, too.”
Colombia got the board first with a three-pointer, but that would be their only lead of the game. Prince then ignited a 14-0 run and the United States finished the first quarter with a 26-14 lead over. In the second period, Team USA held Colombia scoreless for a nine-minute stretch and extended the lead to 23 points at the half.
The United States controlled the boards, 49-23, and scored 14 points off of turnovers. Morgan Tuck, a future UConn Husky, added 17 points and six rebounds. Laura Ramirez Torres and Maria Tapias Pinilla both scored 15 points for Colombia.
The United States advances to the semifinals as the No. 1 seed in Group A and they will face Canada for the right to play in the gold medal game.
Jannah Tucker, who suffered a left knee injury during Thursday’s game, will not play for the remainder of the tournament.
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