USA Women Rout Estonia 18-4 to Reach FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup Semifinals
The USA women (4-1) were in control throughout their 18-4 quarterfinal win over Estonia (1-2) at the 2021 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup on Saturday in Debrecen, Hungary.
The USA will face Germany (4-0) in the semifinals at 7:20 a.m. (all times listed are EDT) on Aug. 29. The first semifinal features Spain (5-0) versus host Hungary (3-0) at 6:55 a.m. All games are streamed live at FIBA’s 3x3 YouTube channel.
The semifinal winners play in the gold medal game at 2:05 p.m. EDT on Aug. 29, and the semifinal losers meet in the bronze medal game at 8:40 a.m. EDT.
“We're looking forward to playing Germany,” said Ayana Patterson (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.). “Germany is a really good, fundamental team. They like to drive and kick. They can also can get into the lane. We just have to play the same good defense that we have been played against Estonia.”
In the quarterfinals, the USA gave up just four points to Estonia.
Mikaylah Williams (Parkway H.S/Bossier City, La.) put five of the USA’s first six points on the board, including a 2-pointer that made it 6-0 in the USA’s favor at the first TV timeout at 6:42.
Estonia managed a free throw at 5:32, which made the score 8-1, but the USA did not let Estonia score from the field for the first 7:26. By the time Estonia connected on a made basket at 2:34, the USA led 16-2.
Estonia made two more scores to make it 16-4, but Janiah Barker (Tampa Bay Tech H.S., Fla./Marietta, Ga.) and Williams each added a point for the USA as the game clock expired on the 18-4 win.
“I think in the gaming against Estonia, we really executed the game plan well,” said Kiki Rice (Sidwell Friends School/Bethesda, Md.). “We knew that if we moved the ball and stayed out of foul trouble, we would win, so we really focused on those details.”
One day after losing to Russia to wrap up pool play, in part due to too many fouls, the USA committed just three fouls against Estonia.
“We wanted to focus on our defense, and not fouling when they got to the rim,” Patterson said. “To stay under seven fouls was one of our key points.”
Williams had eight points, Rice finished with five points, Barker had three and Patterson contributed two points.
“I think we're all extremely excited,” Rice said of the USA advancing in its first knock-out game. “I think we're obviously happy to be in the semifinals. We all know that the job's not done yet. So, we're still focused, locked in and excited about the next opponent.”
The USA coach is Nick LoGalbo (Lane Tech College Prep, Ill.), with Kelly Carruthers (Bowie H.S, Texas) as the USA assistant coach, however, in FIBA 3x3 basketball coaching is not allowed during games.
The FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup has been held annually since 2011, except in years that include a summer Youth Olympic Games (2010, 2014, 2018). In the seven previous FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cups, the USA women have compiled a 49-7 overall record while winning six medals, including gold in 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2019 and silver medals in 2015 and 2016.