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ABsemi

Aijha Blackwell prepares to drive to the basket against a Columbian defender during a semifinal of the FIBA Americas U18 tournament Monday in Mexico City. Photo courtesy USA Basketball

Team USA moved one win away from capturing the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 tournament in Mexico City with a convincing semifinal victory.

The Americans (5-0) rolled past Columbia 83-47 on Monday in a game played at the Juan de la Barrera gym.

Whitfield's Aijha Blackwell, who was again in the starting lineup, scored five points and added four rebounds in the winning effort.

Team USA eased out to a 19-18 lead after the first quarter before opening up a 42-26 advantage by halftime. A run of 17 straight points helped the Americans blow the game open.

USA will face Canada (5-0) in the gold medal match Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.

USA coach Jeff Walz believes the squad is ready to take the final step and win its eighth straight FIBA Americas U18 title and ninth overall in the 11-year history of the event.

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