GURABO, Puerto Rico (August 17, 2012) -- Alexis Prince (Edgewater / Orlando, Fla.) scored a game-high 19 points to lead the 2012 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team (3-0) to a 87-36 victory over Colombia (1-2) to close out FIBA Americas U18 Championship preliminary play on Friday afternoon in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. The game, which saw all nine available U.S. players contribute no less than four points apiece, advanced the U.S. to the semifinals as the No. 1 seed out of Group A.
The win also earned the United States a berth to the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, hosted by Lithuania from July 18-28, as the top four finishing teams at this event qualify for the 2013 U19 Worlds.
The U.S. will next square off against the second-placed team in Group B on Aug. 18 at 8:15 p.m. (all times EDT) for the right to compete for the gold medal; while Argentina (2-1) advances out of Group A as the No. 2 seed and will meet up with the No. 1 team in Group B. Currently, Brazil (2-0) is in first place, Canada (2-1) is in second and Puerto Rico (1-1), which plays tonight's final game against Brazil is in third from Group B. The medal semifinal winners will compete for the gold medal on Aug. 19 at 8:15 p.m., preceded by the bronze medal game tip-off at 6:00 p.m.
"I haven't seen any selfish play at all," said Katie Meier, USA U18 National Team and University of Miami head coach. "It's been a really, really unselfish team. They're trying to make the right basketball play and we're asking people to pass up shots and go deeper into the possession a little bit with our depleted roster. The result of that has been some pretty beautiful basketball."
In addition to Prince, who shot 8-of-14 from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point, and had six rebounds, four assists and three steals; Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./ Bolingbrook, Ill.) shot 7-of-10 from the field and contributed 17 points and six rebounds; while Michaela Mabrey (Manasquan H.S. / Belmar, N.J.) tied a U.S. U18 3-point field goal percentage after netting 83.3 percent (5-6 3pt FGs) of her long-range attempts for 15 points. She tied the record set by Candice Wiggins in 2004 against Puerto Rico.
"Prince came up big today," said Mabrey. "Prince and (Morgan) Tuck. They came up big doing all sorts of different things on the court. Since we're down three players, three guards, people have to step up and play all different positions and I think we've done that well."
As a team, the United States shot a blistering 62.5 percent (10-16 3pt FGs) from 3-point range, which eclipsed the previous USA U18 single game record for 3-point field goal percentage of 57.1 (4-7 3pt FGs) set against Brazil in 1993.