USA Improves to 3-0 with Win over El Salvador at WU18 Americas Championship
The 2022 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team secured their third victory, closing group play at the 2022 FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship with a 106-31 win over El Salvador Wednesday at Estadio Obras Sanitarias in Buenos Aires. The USA will now look ahead to its TBA quarterfinal matchup Friday.
The game started with a fast pace with both teams getting up and down the floor quickly. Despite seeing some good looks, El Salvador converted just one of its first 12 shots, as the USA responded by hitting at a 61.5% clip (8-13 FG) in that same stretch (through 3:20 mark of first quarter) to ultimately lead 24-6 at the end of the first frame.
The second quarter started with a 9-0 USA run as the Americans played hard defense to force turnovers and missed shots. El Salvador’s first points of the period came on a pair of Anna Laguan free throws.
In a 60-12 first half, the USA enjoyed balanced scoring efforts with five players scoring at least seven points apiece including Chloe Kitts with 13 and Isuneh Brady and Cotie McMahon with 10 each.
Kitts, who finished the game with 16 points, had totaled eight points in her previous two outings. McMahon nearly totaled a triple-double with nine rebounds and eight assists to go with 17 points.
"A quote Coach (Joni) Taylor says stands out. 'We are good but we want to become great,'" Kitts said. "I feel great, taking care of business one game at a time."
Brady, for the game, scored a game-high 20 points (10-13 FG) to go with eight rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block. She is the first American to hit the 20-point threshold in the tournament. Through three games, Brady is averaging 17.0 points on 82.1% (23-28 FG) shooting from the field.
For a second straight game, Aalyah Del Rosario recorded a double-double with 13 points and a game-best 14 rebounds. She is the only American to record a double-double in the tournament.
The U.S. overcame a slow 3-point shooting (2-17 3FG) day to create most of its offense in the paint. Of their 103 points, 76 came in the paint, by far the most in the tournament (42 vs. COL; 52 vs. PUR). Because of strong inside play, the team still shot 51.2% (42-82 FG) from the field for their second-straight 50% shooting game.
El Salvador was led by Gabriela Alfaro with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and four steals.
S'Mya Nichols and Kailyn Gilbert missed today's game (health and safety protocols).