USA Advances to Final After Win over Argentina at FIBA U18 Americas Championship
2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship | June 6-12 | Tijuana, Mexico
Rewatch at www.youtube.com/FIBA
- 2022 USA Basketball MU18 National Team Fact Sheet
- 2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship Schedule
- For the full game box score, click here
The 2022 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team advanced to the FIBA U18 Americas Championship gold medal game with a 98-60 win over Argentina at Auditorio Zonkey in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday night.
Kel’el Ware led the USA in scoring, with 17 points on 58% (7-12 FG) shooting from the field to go along with his eight rebounds and two assists. Meanwhile, on the defensive end, Anthony Black anchored the USA with a USA U18 record-tying five blocks in addition to nine points and four rebounds.
“Our guys were mentally locked into the game plan,” USA head coach Tad Boyle said. “Kel’el Ware was dialed in tonight. We looked for him early. Our guys got him the ball and got him going. We played inside-out on offense, which was exactly what we wanted to do.”
Ware and Black received an offensive boost from the three other double-digit scorers including Seth Trimble, Mark Armstrong and Cam Whitmore. Trimble scored 16 points on 50% (5-10 FG) shooting from the field. Armstrong provided a necessary 13 points while also enjoying a 50% (6-12 FG) shooting night. Whitmore, the USA’s leading scorer at 16.4 points per game heading into Saturday’s matchup with Argentina, scored 12 points in 12 minutes off the bench.
“We came down here to win a gold medal and tonight we gave ourselves the opportunity to do that,” Boyle said.
The game started with a frenetic back-and-forth pace, with Argentina grabbing an early 12-6 lead before the USA answered with its own 14-3 run in the final 5:00 of the quarter.
Going into the second quarter, the USA was nursing a 20-15 lead and, utilizing momentum garnered at the end of the first quarter, it went on a 26-1 run, holding Argentina scoreless for 6:00. By halftime, the USA’s lead had grown to 48-23.
For the remainder of the game, the USA defense held the smooth-shooting Argentina side to five 3-point makes on 21 attempts (23% 3FG).
“Our defensive intensity changed the game,” Boyle said. “Argentina is a really good 3-point shooting team. One of our goals tonight was to limit them to six or fewer makes in the game and we limited them to five.”
The USA also won the game on the glass, finishing with 60 rebounds to Argentina’s 37. Heading into the game Boyle expressed that one of the goals was to win the rebounding battle by 20-plus rebounds.
Next up is the gold medal game against Brazil, which is 4-1 in the competition. That game tips off at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday and can be watched at www.youtube.com/FIBA