UCLA signee KiKi Rice scored 18 points and was selected as the MVP as the United States won its 10th consecutive FIBA U18 Americas Championship with an 82-77 victory over Canada Sunday evening in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The 5-foot-11-inch guard scored seven points during a 14-4 run over three minutes, 23 seconds that gave the U.S. a 74-60 lead with 5:36 to play. The Americans were outscored 10-2 over the final 2:10.
Fellow UCLA signee Londynn Jones added 15.
The U.S. trailed only at 2-0 and the game’s only tie was at 5-5. The U.S. led 20-16 at the end of the first quarter, 41-31 at halftime and 57-53 after three quarters.
Forward Cotie McMahon led four Americans in double figures with a game-high 22 points. Boston College signee T’Yana Todd led four Canadians in double figures with 19, including a 3-point basket to conclude a 15-5 run over the final 6:03 of the third quarter.
Rice was second in the tournament in scoring behind Todd, averaging 14.3 points in six games and led the tournament in assists, averaging 4.0 per game. Jones was tied for second with 3.8 assists per game.
Rice was the 2022 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year, the Naismith High School Girls Player of the Year, the MaxPreps National Female High School Athlete of the Year and a co-MVP of the McDonald’s All American Game with her future UCLA teammate Gabriela Jaquez.
Jones, a 5-foot-6-inch guard, was a 2022 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American, averaging 25.2 points for Centennial High School in Corona.
The U.S. was 6-0 in the tournament and is 65-2 in FIBA women’s under-18 competitions dating back to 1988, winning 11 championships and finishing second twice
Players in the tournament must be born on or after Jan. 1, 2004.