The women’s 3×3 USA basketball team continued pool play on Monday with a pair of games, getting nail-biting wins against Italy and China to stay undefeated in pool play entering the final week of competition.
In case you missed it, here’s a recap of both games:
Game #1: USA 17, Italy 13
The Americans faced off against Italy in their first match of the day at Aomi Urban Sports Park grabbing the narrow 17-13 victory.
Both teams went back and forth to begin the game but with the USA leading 7-6, Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky) scored six consecutive points to put the Americans up 13-10. Dolson and Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings) combined for 12 points in the win.
Dolson and Gray’s performance made up for Kelsey Plum’s off-game. She had just three points but went 0-for-6 from 2-point range and missed both of her free-throw attempts.
The victory for the USA moves them to 5-0 in pool play, the only undefeated team left in the pool.
“Against Italy, we were not executing well, especially on defense,” USA guard Jackie Young said. “We have a few things to clean up for our next game. We know what we did wrong and can build off it for the next game. We are just taking it one game at a time. I am not looking too far ahead. It is just playing our game and not letting anything rattle us.”
Game #2: USA 21, China 19
In what is likely a preview of the Gold medal game, the USA defeated China 21-19 on a big night from Plum, including her game-winning 2-pointer.
China played physically as Dolson and Gray hit the court on more than one occasion and their size seemed to bother the smaller American team. Plum used that to her advantage as she drove to the paint, pulled up from the arc, and slid under screens on defense.
Plum rebounded well from her subpar performance against Italy and the U.S. will now enter their final match of pool play with a perfect record.
Team USA is now 6-0 in pool play and will return to the court on Tuesday to face Japan in the last pool game.