USA Advances to WU18 Americas Championship Semifinals with Win over Mexico
The 2022 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team secured its fourth victory at the 2022 FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship, earning a 77-41 quarterfinal win over Mexico Friday at Estadio Obras Sanitarias in Buenos Aires. The USA will now look ahead to its TBA semifinal matchup Saturday.
By virtue of their victory today, the Americans have secured a berth in the 2023 FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup.
The U.S. and Mexico faced off in the tournament’s first quarterfinal with both teams coming out with energy. The Americans maintained their strong field goal shooting from Wednesday’s win over El Salvador and took control in the game’s early going. In the half, the U.S. shot 55.9% (19-34 FG) from the field. On the afternoon, they would shoot 46.2% (30-65 FG) from the floor.
En route to the tournament’s best scoring performance, Cotie McMahon scored six of the USA’s first eight points through the 7:38 mark of the first quarter as Mexico was held scoreless during that stretch. Mexico responded with a 3-pointer out of their own timeout to get on the board.
McMahon, a native of Centerville, Ohio, went on to score 13 of her squad’s first 19 to give the U.S. a 19-5 advantage with 4:06 to play in the opening period and an eventual 29-8 lead at the end of the first.
In the first half alone, McMahon eventually totaled her previous tournament-best of 17 points vs. El Salvador. McMahon finished with a tournament-high-tying 21 points (8-13 FG, 1-1 3FG, 4-6 FT) for the game and recorded her first double-double with 10 rebounds and four steals.
“We’ve just got to keep working. We’ve got two more games left,” McMahon said. “We have to learn one game at a time. I think we can still do better executing and playing together as a team. These next games are important.”
Mexico kept a competitive spirit throughout, going on a 6-0 second quarter run from 5:05-4:20 and forcing the U.S. head coach Joni Taylor to take a timeout. The Americans responded and kept Mexico scoreless for the duration of the period, while scoring the last eight points and taking a 47-16 lead into halftime.
Mexico would continue to maintain the pressure on both ends of the floor for the duration of the third quarter, holding the Americans to 17 points and forcing 10 turnovers in the period and matching a 17-point scoring effort themselves.
For their part, Mexico put together the best shooting game against the Americans thus far, but were still the fourth opponent to shoot under 30% (.258%, 17-66 FG).
Kiki Rice scored eight third quarter points and finished the game with 14 while adding six rebounds, a game-high six assists, three steals and one block. Grace Van Slooten had her second straight 11-point effort.
S'Mya Nichols and Kailyn Gilbert missed today's game (health and safety protocols).