First Day of Red Bull USA Basketball 3x3 Nationals Women’s Competition Produces Six Overtime Games
The women’s competition on the first day of the 2019 Red Bull USA Basketball 3x3 Nationals saw plenty of exciting games, including six that went into overtime during May 3 preliminary round play at the Las Vegas Downtown Events Center. The event, which is free and open to the public, is being held for the first time outdoors in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.
Four teams finished the day on top of their respective groups with unbeaten records. Miami and Texas, which are in four-team preliminary groups, both own 2-0 marks, while Defend and Stanford, which are in five-team groups, closed the day with 3-0 records.
In all, the 18 teams in the women’s tournament played 24 games over the course of the day and the preliminary round standings will be finalized following Saturday morning’s eight games, which are scheduled to tip-off between 9:40-10:40 a.m. (all times listed are local, PDT). Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded based on standings and the knockout round begins at 11:40 a.m. The women's championship game will tip at 10 p.m. and stream live online at usab.com/live.
“We’ve been getting ready for this for a little bit and I think the biggest thing is sticking to our game plan,” said Stanford’s Anna Wilson (Seattle, Wash.), whose squad earned a pair of overtime victories. “We come up with a strategy before the game and try to stick to that and then make adjustments throughout the game and see who is hot and who has a good match up. Our team talks really, really well, we have really good chemistry.
“We have good versatility,” she continued. “Our strength is our twins (Lacie and Lexie Hull) and Estella (Moschkau) and they’re really long and we’re also quick and then they can also shoot and they’re really good rebounders. They do all the things the right way.”
In addition to Wilson, Stanford’s roster includes Lacie Hull (Spokane, Wash.); Lexie Hull (Spokane, Wash.); and Estella Moschkau (Madison, Wis.). In earning its unbeaten record, the squad defeated Mississippi State (1-2) 17-9, and eclipsed Maryland (1-3) and Drive (2-1) 14-12 and 18-16 in overtime.
Defend is made up of Bella Alarie (Princeton/Bethesda, Md.); Aleah Goodman (Oregon State/Oregon City, Ore.); Jordan Lewis (Alabama/Windermere, Fla.); and Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA/Aurora, Colo.); and the team downed WAC (1-2) 21-10, Louisville (3-1) 19-12 and Iowa State (1-2) 19-16.
Miami, comprised of Mykea Gray (Upper Marlboro, Md.); Destiny Harden (Chicago, Ill.); Kelsey Marshall (Davie, Fla.); and Beatrice Mompremier (Miami, Fla.); beat LA Dream Team (0-2) 20-15 and defending 3x3 champion Oregon (1-1) 17-16.
The Texas team, which defeated Connecticut (1-1) 13-12 in overtime and North Carolina State (1-1) 14-11, includes Charli Collier (Baytown, Texas); Audrey Warren (Fort Worth, Texas); Joyner Holmes (Cedar Hill, Texas); and Sug Sutton (St. Louis, Mo.).
Looking ahead to Saturday’s games, Wilson’s focus is on her team.
“Still the same thing, keeping things the same way, do the simple things the right way, do them well,” she said. “I think that’s what our team does really, really well, is just sticking with the game plan and not getting too high and not getting too low. Obviously, the game is much more physical than five-on-five, so just playing through things, not getting too frustrated with calls, people aren’t perfect.”
In addition to the lure of a national championship, the event also will serve as the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 National Team trials, as all eligible athletes will be in consideration for selection to the 2019 USA Women’s 2019 U.S. Pan American Games 3x3 Basketball Team.
Olympic fans will see the launch of a new basketball discipline with the inclusion of 3x3 in 2020. The exciting and fast-paced game officially was unveiled in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and has since become a fan favorite at FIBA 3x3 World Cup events. Played on a half court with a 10-minute clock, and a 12-second shot clock, the first team to 21 points, or the team in the lead at the end of regulation, is the winner. The non-stop action of 3x3 will ensure it is one of the hottest tickets in Tokyo, and fans in Las Vegas will get an early taste of that excitement during the USA Basketball 3x3 Nationals.
“I’ve never played 3x3 before in a national championship kind of thing and I’ve never played outside, so it’s a little different,” added Wilson. “It’s a little warm here, but luckily we’ve been getting ready for this, so we’re prepared for the weather, it’s a little different with the wind, we don’t usually have that inside, so just adjusting and getting comfortable. That’s why driving is so important because when you get comfortable with the ball then you can shoot. I think our team did really well and we’re just having fun, that’s what we came here to do, just have fun.”
Held annually since 2012, this year marks the eighth edition of the USA Basketball 3x3 National Championships, and the first time the nationals will be held outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado.