UConn 2015 commit Napheesa Collier had 18 points and six rebounds Sunday to help lead the U.S. to a 104-74 win over Canada in the gold medal game of the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship for Women at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She also added three assists, one block and one steal in a game-high 26 minutes.
Tournament MVP A’ja Wilson had game-highs of 25 points and 11 rebounds as the U.S. won its seventh straight gold medal – eighth overall – and improved to 48-2 in the event all-time. Wilson set team U-18 records in scoring average (19.0) and field goal percentage (76.5).
Collier averaged 14.0 points, 3.4 assists, 1.6 steals and team-highs of 8.6 rebounds and 22.2 minutes in five games (four starts) in the tournament. She ranked first overall in 3-point shooting percentage (.556; 5-of-9) and offensive rebounds (4.6), third in scoring and blocks (1.0), fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1), fifth in rebounding and field goal percentage (.564), sixth in assists and 10th in steals.
Here is what Collier had to say following the gold medal game (courtesy of USA Basketball) …
On her thoughts of (Sunday’s) gold medal-winning game:
A: “I thought we came out super focused because it’s the gold medal game, and we were playing Canada again, so all of us were in the zone.’’
On what they worked on to beat Canada three times (once in scrimmage, twice in competition):
A: “I think because we were playing them for the third time, it made us want to get everything perfect and be more focused and play our hardest game.’’
On winning her very first gold medal for USA Basketball:
A: “I feel awesome. It’s feels awesome to play and win for the USA.’’