Mozes Leads Team To U18 European Quarterfinals

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Incoming New Mexico State women's basketball freshman, Keren Mozes, is turning heads with prolific play for her native Israeli National Team at the Under-18 European Women's Basketball Championships held this month in Miskolc, Hungary.

Mozes scored a game-high 24 points, including a tournament-best seven three-point makes, and a grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to lead Israel to a decisive 76-58 win over Norway in the qualifying round at the Championships Wednesday. The victory vaulted Israel (4-2) into the Championship quarterfinals of Division B. Mozes and her teammates will face an undefeated team from Croatia (6-0) on Friday.

The 5-9 guard from Herzalyia, Israel, tops all players from the 16-country Championship field in three-point field goals made per game at 3.5. Mozes also ranks second overall at the Championships with 7.3 three-point attempts per contest. Those numbers result in a 47.7 percentage from beyond the arc at the Championships that ranks fourth overall. Mozes has sank at least two threes in each of her six games thus far.

"Keren has been spectacular shooting the ball from three-point range this summer," said NM State assistant women's basketball coach Jamie Shadian. "She has also been a tough, tenacious defender with the versatility to defend both on the perimeter and in the paint."

On Aug. 4, Mozes led the team in scoring with 17 points while shooting 5-of-9 from long range in a 77-71 preliminary round victory over Denmark. She followed that up with a 10-point performance in an 84-71 victory over Luxembourg the following day.

Mozes posted a double-double in game three against Finland (Aug. 6) with team highs of 15 points and 12 boards in a 67-49 loss. The new Aggie is just one of 22 players to record a double-double in Division B of the 2011 Championships. Despite the loss, Israel advanced to the qualifying round after a 2-1 record in three days.

After starting the first three games, Mozes did not start against Latvia on Aug. 8, because she flew home to Israel to finish her last final exam of high school before returning to Hungary. She still found a way to impact the team with 20 minutes of play, scoring eight points including two threes. But Latvia squeaked past Israel 64-58 in game one of the qualifying round.

Against Greece on Aug. 9, Mozes helped lead her team back from a 12-point halftime deficit. After canning a deep three, Mozes closed Israel to within one midway through the second half at 43-42. Israel edged Greece 58-57 for its first qualifying round win of the Championships. Mozes led the team in minutes played while dropping in 10 points and grabbing five rebounds.

Through six games Mozes leads her team with 14.0 points per game and 32.0 minutes played to rank No. 11 and fifth overall, respectively, at the Championships. In addition to her expert marksmanship from long range, Mozes leads the squad and ranks eighth overall with a 45.8 field goal percentage. Her 4.5 field goals per contest is tops on the team and ranks No. 16 overall.

Mozes has also been a force on the glass ranking in the top 10 in defensive rebounds and top 20 in total boards per contest at the Championships, while leading the team. With 5.5 defensive caroms per game, Mozes ranks seventh overall while her 6.3 total rebounds per contest rates No. 17.

The Aggie freshman has been a member of the Israeli National Team since 2008. She led the squad with 13.9 points per game through seven games at the 2010 Under-18 European Championships. Mozes also averaged 6.3 rebounds per game and shot 35 percent from three-point range at the Championships last summer.

Over the past three seasons, Mozes led her basketball team to a 48-9 record, including two league championships and a pair of state cups. She was also an all-league selection as one of the top starting five players in each of the past three seasons, including Player of the Season honors as a sophomore.

Mozes is one of three international players and one of seven incoming freshmen on the 2011-12 NM State women's basketball squad.