U.S. Olympic 3x3 Team Falls to Host Japan 20-18
The U.S. Olympic 3x3 Women's Team (6-1) led 5-0 to start its game against host Japan (5-2) and was up 14-9 with 3:27 to play but could not hit shots down the stretch and suffered its first loss, 20-18, at Aomi Urban Sports Park on Tuesday afternoon in Tokyo.
The USA already had secured the No. 1 seed into the medal round and awaits the winner of tonight's Japan (5-2) - France (4-3) quarterfinal for its semifinal on July 28. Streaming and broadcast information is available at the USA Basketball Olympic schedule page.
Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut/Port Jervis, N.Y.) scored a team-high seven points to with three rebounds and two assists. Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings/South Carolina/Sandersville, Ga.) had five points two assists and two rebounds. Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces/Notre Dame/Princeton, Ind.) scored four points and had four rebounds and two assists, and Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Washington/Poway, Calif.) finished with two points.
“To be honest, this is tough,” Plum said. “We clinched first, and it's hard to get up for that game. They played really well. They hit big shots.”
The USA committed its seventh foul at 2:37 and Japan made both free throws to cut the USA lead to one point 14-13. After a score from each side, Japan made a 2-pointer to go ahead 16-15 at 2:01. Dolson scored twice to put the USA ahead 17-16, but Japan drove to the basket for a layup and made another 2 to lead 19-17 with 1:03 on the clock. Gray scored the USA’s final basket at 40 seconds to pull within one 19-18, but Japan answered back on the next possession and led 20-18 with 31 seconds to go. In the final 30 seconds, the USA missed two more attempts and committed a turnover, and Japan earned the 20-18 win.
“The game is done,” Gray said. “It doesn't hurt us, and we're glad something like this happened earlier instead of in semifinals when you don't get another chance. So, it was good to get that loss out of the way, and we'll be prepared for the semifinals.”
A second quarterfinal will be played today, featuring the No. 3 and No. 6 teams after preliminary action concludes this afternoon.
On July 28, the other semifinal is set for 5:10 a.m. (all times listed are EDT). Also on July 28, the semifinal losers will play in the bronze medal game at 7:45 a.m., and the semifinal winners will meet in the gold medal game at 8:55 a.m.
The USA coach is Kara Lawson (Duke University). In FIBA 3x3 basketball, coaches are not allowed during games.