Oregon Ducks Take USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 National Championship Title
Oregon Ducks (8-0) earned the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 National Championship crown after collecting a 21-5 victory over Bye Felicia (6-2) on Sunday afternoon at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I’m just happy we won, to be honest,” said Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon/Walnut Creek, Calif.), who earned tournament MVP honors. “The individual award doesn’t mean as much as winning the gold with this squad.
“We knew (Bye Felicia) could shoot. They’ve been playing for a while,” said Ionescu about her team’s championship game opponent. “They’ve played together, so they have chemistry. We knew that they could shoot. They were fast and athletic. So, we just had to take away that 2-point shot, because that’s really a killer in this 3x3 game. We just played hard.”
Taking a 7-0 lead to open the title game, the Ducks held a 12-5 advantage with 5:04 to play before closing out the championship game on a 9-0 sprint for the 21-5 victory. In its semifinal game, Oregon went up 10-3 before rolling to the eventual 21-12 final.
“We talked about them before we went out,” said Erin Boley (Oregon/Hodgenville, Ky.), a member of the Ducks who won a silver medal as a member of the 2015 USA U18 3x3 World Cup Team. “We knew they could shoot, so we had talked about how letting them shoot 2s is going to hurt us way worse than letting them get to the rim for layups. We talked about making sure our hands were up and defending the 2.”
Boley paced the Ducks to victory with eight points in the championship game, all from behind the arc, Ruthy Hebard (Oregon/Fairbanks, Alaska) added six points, Otiona Gildon (Oregon/Spokane, Wash.) had four and Ionescu chipped in three.
“She really shot well,” said Ionescu about Boley’s championship game. “She shows that to us every day in practice and we all believe in her. We know she can shoot the ball really well. She was open and she made the shots that should make. That definitely put us over the edge today and helped us a lot in these three medal games.”
The Ducks went undefeated en route to title. After finishing 5-0 in the April 21 preliminary round, they earned a 21-12 quarterfinals win over DU WBB (2-5) and a 21-12 victory over Devs (5-3) in the semifinals.
Comprised of Danika Dale (Liberty /Fort Hood, Texas), Kristen McCarthy (Temple/San Dimas, Texas), Shaqwedia Wallace (Temple/Wilmington, Del.) and Veshaundra Young (Martin Methodist /Pulaski Tenn.), Bye Felicia advanced to the final game after taking down Issa Bucket (3-4) 21-18 in quarterfinals play and earning a 21-19 upset over N.A.A.K. (5-2) in the semifinals.
Games were played under FIBA 3x3 rules, including a 10-minute clock and 12-second shot clock. 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 does help that I played 3x3 before, for sure,” Boley added. “It definitely helps knowing how to space the court, how to play with each other, because 3x3 is much different than playing five-on-five. It’s much faster pace. You have to really be on your toes on every possession, so it definitely helps to have that experience.”
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 four-member team will be announced at a later date.
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.
This weekend marked the seventh annual USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 National Championships, which first were held in 2012.