USA Women Fall in Overtime in FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Quarterfinals
The USA (1-3) lost a heartbreaking quarterfinals game versus Netherlands (3-1) 17-14 in overtime Saturday at the FIBA 3X3 Women’s Series in Chengdu, China.
The FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series is a new 3x3 competition series dedicated to women athletes from around the globe. Up to 12 events in the FIBA 3X3 Women’s Series are expected to take place this year from May to September and will be announced throughout the season on the official website ws.fiba3x3.com.
The USA Team featured collegians Bella Alarie (Princeton/Bethesda, Md.), Charli Collier (Texas/Baytown, Texas), Aleah Goodman (Oregon State/Oregon City, Ore.) and Christyn Williams (Connecticut/Little Rock, Ark.). The USA team is comprised of four athletes who took part in the 2019 Red Bull USA Basketball 3x3 Nationals on May 3-4 in Las Vegas.
The U.S. started strong and appeared on the verge of a victory and advancing to the semifinals, but the Netherlands rallied late to take the win in overtime.
Tied 2-2, the Americans reeled off four straight points to grab the lead 6-2 and seemed in control 9-3 with 3:59 to play in the game. With 2:20 left in the contest, Goodman scored to push the USA ahead 12-6.
But the USA couldn't finish off Netherlands. Scoring three straight points, Netherlands tightened the game to 12-10 with 1:08 remaining. Alarie scored to up the U.S. advantage to 13-10, but Netherlands Fleur Kuijt sank a 2-pointer to make the score 13-12 with 37 seconds to go. Alare scored inside to increase the USA lead to 14-12, but Netherlands answered right back with a basket from Loyce Bettonvil. With regulation time running out, Natalie van den Adel tied the game at 14 with a drive at the buzzer.
Heading into overtime, in which the first team to score two points claims the victory, the USA was unable to score. Loyce Bettonvil scored the Netherlands first point in overtime and sister Jill Bettonvil, with the shot clock about to expire, banked in a 2-point to claim the win.
“I thought today we had a really hard fought game," said Alare. “With every game we’ve played at this tournament I’ve seen our team get so much better, learn how to play better with each other and just start to vive together. We just had such amazing effort, our defense was so solid today it came down to the wire in overtime and they hit a buzzer-beater to win the game but I’m really proud of our team, the effort be brought, the hard work we put in all weekend, I’m just really proud of this group.”
Collier and Williams led the USA offensive attack with five points each, Alarie finished with three points and Goodman scored one point. The Americans outrebounded Netherlands 32-31, but the USA was 0-7 from 2-point and 0-for-2 from the foul line.
“I thought in today’s game, this was the best game we’ve played,” said Collier. “I feel like we gave a lot of effort and played really well on the defensive end. Even though we lost I feel like we gave our best effort. I felt like on both ends we played really good and we were really efficient and we played hard. I can’t say too much about the game winning shot, but we gave a lot of effort and that’s what it’s all about, playing hard."
The 3X3 tournament, the first for the newly assembled American squad, was a learning experience.
“The other teams are really veterans of the game, they understand it really well, they’ve played together for a long time, so, it’s definitely an adjustment coming in with a bunch of young players like us on the USA who have kind of just started to play together,” said Alare. “But they are really excellent players, they’re skilled in all levels of the game - offense, defense. They played incredibly physical and hard, it was great competition here.”
Collier echoed Alare’s sentiment, stating: “The tournament was new for us, the other players here were older and more experienced, but I feel like that’s all they had on us – being more experienced. (Coming into the tournament) we didn’t know what to expect, it’s 3X3 international ball, so it was something to get used to. I think for our team we had a really good group and we played together and I feel like we executed really well.”
With the inclusion of 3X3 in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, fans will see the launch of a new basketball discipline in Olympic competition. The exciting and fast-paced game officially was unveiled at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
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.