USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 National Championship Preliminary Round Complete, Oregon Ducks Go Undefeated
Following the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 National Championship preliminary round games on April 21, one team, the Oregon Ducks (5-0), went undefeated and earned Group D’s No. 1 seed heading into Sunday’s medal round.
The weekend’s games, which also feature a men’s tournament, are free and open to the public.
Held at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the tournament is comprised of 12 teams, and Bye Felicia earned the top spot out of Group C with a 4-1 record after losing its final game of the evening. Oregon Ducks, Bye Felicia and the No. 2 seeds from each pool, Ariel (4-1) in Group C and N.A.A.K. (4-1) in Group D, earned an automatic berth to the quarterfinals. The remaining eight teams will compete in a quarterfinal play-in round, which begins at 9:40 a.m. on April 22.
“We need to take tomorrow one game at a time,” said Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon/Walnut Creek, Calif.) on heading into the knockout round. “We need to shoot well in order to win. So, we’re just going to do what we did today, just focus on ourselves and take it one game at a time.”
Medal-round play will be held in Sports Center I and begins at 9 a.m. for the men and 9:40 a.m. for the women. Winning teams will continue to advance to play in the national championship games, both of which will be streamed live on usab.com beginning at 12:50 p.m.
“We went 4-1 today, which is pretty good,” said Bye Felicia’s Kristen McCarthy (Temple/San Dimas, Texas), a 2010 All-Atlantic-10 Conference first team selection. “The competition was really great as well. I thought we played hard. Initially it was a little tough to get past that first win, especially being (at altitude) in Colorado. We played really well as a team. It’s very physical out there on the offensive and defensive end. We did well for the first day, but tomorrow is the big day. The real day.
“Attacking the basket and staying composed,” added McCarthy on what was going to be her team’s key to winning on Sunday. “There are going to be times when we’re going to get down and maybe the other team’s going to get a run. But, the most important thing is to stick together and just play wisely. This is all about strategy and planning.”
Games, which are played under FIBA 3x3 rules and feature a 10-minute clock and 12-second shot clock, are exciting and fast-paced. Other rules of note: free throws and buckets inside the arc are worth one point and shots from beyond the arc are worth two points; the first team to 21 points or whichever team is ahead at the end of regulation play is the winner; and if the game ends in a tie, the first team to score two points in overtime wins.
“It was really fun,” stated Ionescu. “I’ve never been a part of this. I’ve never played 3x3, so I had to figure out the rules and the pace of the games. It took a few games, but it was really fun. And playing against other teams in the Pac-12 has been cool and other players I’ve never seen before. It’s a learning process and it’s been fun.”
The winning team at the USA Basketball 3x3 Women’s National Championship may have the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup. The four athletes that will comprise the 2018 USA Women’s 3x3 World Cup Team are expected to come from participants at the 2018 USA Basketball 3x3 National Championships.
The 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, which will feature a men’s and women’s tournament as well as skills contests, will be held June 8-12 in Manila, Philippines.