USA Men's and Women's Team Wrap Up Stop Five of FIBA 3x3 U23 Nations League
The USA 3x3 U23 women’s and men’s teams both went 1-1 on Tuesday in Voiron, France with neither team making it to the final at stop 5 of the 2021 FIBA 3x3 U23 Nations League.
The USA men’s team, comprised of Chris Arcidiacono (Villanova/Langhorne, Pa.), Eric Dixon (Villanova/Willow Grove, Pa.), Trey Patterson (Villanova/Somerset, N.J.) and Brandon Slater (Villanova/Centerville, Va.), was edged by France (2-1) 19-17 and held off Netherlands (0-2) 19-18 in its two games on the day.
In the USA’s first game with France, it was a back-and-forth battle from the start with both teams trading baskets. Dixon scored the first seven points for the Americans with his physical play in the paint and finished with a team-high nine points. France went on a 7-2 run to secure its largest lead of the game (14-9) before quick 2-pointers from Arcidiacono and Slater brought the USA back within one point (14-13). France held on to the lead to capture the 19-17 win at the end of the 10-minute contest. France advanced to the finals where it lost to Israel (3-0) 19-16.
In the USA men’s second game of the day, they played the Netherlands in a match up that came down to the last shot, with the USA winning 19-18. Three consecutive 2-poniters from Dixon gave the USA a 15-12 lead with 2:52 to play. Three straight baskets from the Netherlands minutes later gave them a 2-point lead with 40.1 seconds remaining, but it was followed by a deep 2-pointer from the USA’s Arcidiacono to tie the game with 30.6 seconds. The Netherlands regained the lead (18-17) with 20.4 seconds left, but the Americans would seal the win with two clutch free throws from Slater with 5.8 seconds left on the clock.
The USA 3x3 U23 Women’s Team, which features Emily Engstler (Louisville/New York, N.Y.), Madison Hayes (NC State/Chattanooga, Tenn.), Hailey Van Lith (Louisville/Wenatchee, Wash.) and Kylee Watson (Oregon/Linwood, N.J.) won its first pool play game, dominating on defense, beating Great Britain (0-2) 14-3. After allowing the first basket, the Americans went on a 9-0 run from 8:50 to 2:36 and closed out the play on a 5-1 run. Van Lith led the USA with seven points in the win.
In the Americans second game, they lost 17-16 to France (3-0) in a contest that took overtime to sort out. Down by two points with 1:34 left, Van Lith made two big free throws to tie the game at 14-14. After a basket by France with 48.0 seconds left, Van Lith hit a clutch layup with 5.0 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. A final free throw by France sealed the 17-16 win over the USA. Van Lith and Engstler led the USA with six points each in the loss. France advanced to the final where it took down Netherlands (2-1) 13-10
The USA teams are competing in the Europe-America conference of the FIBA 3x3 U23 Nations League and will wrap up with Stop 6 on Aug. 4 in Voiron, France.
The format for both the men’s and women’s teams each day includes two pools of three teams, and each team plays the two other squads in its pool. The No. 1 team from each pool plays in the title game.
Twenty-six national federations registered both a men’s and women’s 3x3 team for the 2021 FIBA U23 Nations League, with teams being allocated in five different conferences: Africa, Asia, Europe-America, Europe 1 and Europe 2. The U23 Nations League helps countries prepare talent for future international competition.