USA 3x3 National Teams Set for Final Day at Big Twelve International
The USA 3x3 Women’s National Team earned two wins and recorded one loss, and the USA 3x3 Men’s National Team won two games in day-two action at the Big Twelve International 3x3 Tournament in Voiron, France.
Both teams are expected to wrap up play on Sunday, May 23. The USA women are slated to play Canada in the semifinals at 4:40 a.m. ET, and the USA men are set to play Serbia in the final at 5:20 a.m. ET.
Following this tournament, the USA teams will depart for Graz, Austria and the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will be played May 26-30. A total of 20 men’s and 20 women’s teams will play in the OQT, and Olympic berths will be awarded to the top three finishing men’s and top three women’s teams.
In the USA women’s first game – a 22-10 win against Israel, Katie Lou Samuelson (Seattle Storm/Connecticut/Huntington Beach, Calif.) scored seven points, including three 2-pointers, and Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut/Port Jervis, N.Y.) added seven points. Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings/South Carolina/Sandersville, Ga.) scored five, including the shot from behind the arc at 3:05 to give the USA the 22-10 win. Olivia Cochran (Columbus, Ga.) contributed three points in the game.
The USA went on to record a 21-19 loss to Switzerland and a 22-15 win over Russia as Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Washington/Poway, Calif.) stepped in for both games. The USA is expected to play two games tomorrow.
"I think we had some high moments and some low moments differently throughout the play today," Samuelson said. "In all three games, I think we did a good job of adjusting, bouncing back when we needed to, when things weren't looking too good. So, we're really learning how to play with each other, and I think if we clean things up defensively, we'll feel good going into Austria.
“We're looking forward to it. We're already excited to go,” Samuelson added of the team’s travel from France to Graz, Austria. “I think it was definitely good for us to get these games in. We're happy to kind of get into our rhythm and definitely needed some practice runs. Once we finish tomorrow, however that goes, we're going to get ready to go, and really change our focus to the qualifying tournament.”
For the USA men, the day began with a 22-13 win over Ukraine A. Kareem Maddox (Princeton/Los Angeles, Calif.) scored six of the USA’s first eight points, including two 2s, and the USA took a 13-3 lead. From there, Robbie Hummel (Purdue/Valparaiso, Ind.) added four more points to reach his eight for the game, and the USA closed out with his made 2-pointer at 2:24. Maddox also finished with eight points, Joey King (Minnesota/Eagan, Minn.) added four and Dominique Jones (Fort Hays State/Harlem, N.Y.) sank a 2-pointer.
In the USA’s second game against Russia B, the USA jumped out to an 8-3 lead and only gave up eight points in the victory, which came when King banked in a jump shot to make it 21-8 with 1:19 on the clock.
"It felt good,” Maddox said. “We're happy to finally be playing some people that we don't know. We have some kinks to work out still, but we're feeling pretty good.
"I think it's a great setup here. We are happy to play a game tomorrow and then get on the road to the the Olympic Qualifying Tournament that we've been excited to get to for over a year now."