U.S. Pan American Games 3x3 Women’s Team Improves to 5-0, Earns No. 1 Seed for Semifinals
The U.S. Pan American Games 3x3 Women’s Basketball Team (5-0) remained undefeated through the end of preliminary round play with an 18-14 win over Venezuela (1-4) and a 21-7 victory over Dominican Republic (3-2) on Sunday at the Coliseo Eduardo Dibos in Lima, Peru.
As the No. 1 seed, the USA will meet No. 4 Brazil (2-3) in the first women’s semifinal at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 29. All games are streaming live at WatchESPN.com.
The second semifinal at 10:30 a.m. EDT will feature No. 2 Argentina (4-1) versus No. 3 Dominican Republic (3-2). The semifinal winners will meet in the gold medal game at 2 p.m. EDT, and the losers will play for bronze at 1 p.m. EDT.
“It is always harder the second time around,” said USA guard Christyn Williams (Little Rock, Ark.) of the USA’s semifinal matchup. The USA recorded a 21-7 victory against Brazil in the first day of preliminary round action on July 27.
“I think we need to sharpen up a few things, focus on what we have to do defensively and offensively, and I think we will be fine,” Williams added.
The USA started its final day of preliminary round action with a 18-14 win against Venezuela. The USA was tied at 12-12 with 2:17 to play, when Williams sank a 2-pointer, and the U.S. started to take control from there.
After Williams’s score, all three U.S. teammates added points to push the lead to 18-12 with 44.0 seconds on the clock. Venezuela scored a 2-pointer to close out the game.
Ruthy Hebard (Fairbanks, Alaska) and Sabrina Ionescu (Walnut Creek, Ore.) each scored seven points, and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (Connecticut/Winder, Ga.) added two points apiece.
“I’m very pleased,” Williams said of the team’s progress. “I think we have made a lot of improvements over the last couple of games. Today was a lot more physical than yesterday, but I thought we stayed poised and kept working hard.”
Against Dominican Republic, the USA maintained a two- or three-point lead until midway through the game, when it put together a 12-1 run that ended the game, 21-7, with 2:52 left on the clock.
The USA was 12-of-16 from inside the 2-point line, while Hebard and Williams each finished with seven points and Ionescu added six.
This is the first time 3x3 basketball has been included at the Pan American Games, and the men’s and women’s tournaments feature six teams each.
Similar to the Pan American Games, 3X3 basketball will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The exciting and fast-paced game officially was unveiled in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and since has become a fan favorite at FIBA 3x3 World Cup events.
3x3 is played on a half court with a 12-second shot clock and a 10 minute game clock. The first team to 21 points, or the team in the lead at the end of regulation, is the winner.