USA Wins Title at FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Klaipeda Stop
Defeating Spain (3-2) 19-17 in overtime of the championship game, the USA (5-0) went unbeaten and captured the tournament title at the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series stop in Klaipeda, Lithuania, on July 31.
Linnae Harper (Ohio State/Chicago, Ill.) was named tournament MVP.
"Communication was a major factor in our journey to winning the tournament," Harper said. "Watching film and sticking to our plan was key."
In the title game, the score was tied 10 times. The USA went ahead 3-1 early and kept a one- or two-point advantage for most of the first half of the game. Spain went ahead 10-9, but Cierra Burdick (Tennessee/Charlotte, N.C.) tied the score, and then the USA went ahead 12-10 on a 2-pointer from Alexis Peterson (Syracuse/Columbus, Ohio). Spain responded with a 2-pointer, and neither team led by more than one point for the remainder of the game. The USA trailed 17-16 when Burdick was fouled and made one of two free throws to tie it 17-17 with nine seconds left in regulation. Spain was unable to score as time ran out on the game clock.
In overtime Burdick scored, followed by Breanna Richardson (Mississippi State/Conyers, Ga.) for the game-winner and 19-17 victory.
“It was actually a really tough match with Spain,” Richardson said. “They are very physical, but they are smart, too. So, we just had to come out and play hard. We had to fight for that one, and I’m glad we came up with the W.”
Burdick finished with eight points and seven rebounds, Richardson had five points and four boards, Peterson added five points and Harper had one point and three key assists.
In its 21-13 semifinal win over Poland (2-3), the USA led 6-3 at 7:12, but Poland worked its way to a 9-8 lead at 5:45. Behind points from Harper, Peterson and Burdick, the USA made it 12-9 at 4:55, but Poland made a 2-pointer and the USA lead was 12-11 at 4:40. Harper answered with a 2, which was followed by four straight points from the USA, and the Americans led 18-11 when Burdick scored at 2:30. Peterson scored the final three points for the USA, including the 21st point with 1:21 left on the clock.
Harper had eight points, five rebounds and three key assists in the Poland win, Burdick added five points and five rebounds, Peterson finished with five points and three rebounds and Richardson tallied three points and eight rebounds.
In 2021, the FIBA Women’s Series has featured stops in Mies, Switzerland (May 15-16); Voiron, France (May 21-22); and Poitiers, France (June 29-30), which already have been played.
A U.S. team is expected to play in the upcoming FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series in Constanta, Romania (Aug. 14-15).