USA Fall to Germany in Final at FIBA 3x3 Women's Series Poitiers Stop
The USA Basketball 3x3 Women’s Series team competed at the Poitiers stop on the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series this week. The team went undefeated en route to a championship matchup against Germany Wednesday, but fell in the final, 21-17.
To start pool play, the USA beat Turkey, 21-10, on the backs of Linnae Harper and Cierra Burdick. Harper recorded 10 points with three two-pointers while Burdick put together an all-around performance logging three points, a game-high eight rebounds, one key assist and two blocks.
For the team’s second and last game in pool play, Breanna Richardson helped lead the team to a 15-12 win over Latvia. Richardson recorded team highs in points (6) and rebounds (4). The win secured the second seed and a quarterfinal matchup with Italy.
The quarterfinal bout was a back-and-forth game, one that saw neither team lead by more than three points. After taking a 2-0 lead to start the game, the USA trailed or tied Italy until the final minutes. The U.S. took its first lead since the opening minutes of the game with a miraculous sequence from Harper, who stole the ball and scored her seventh point of the contest with a two-pointer which gave the USA a one-point lead (15-14) with less than two minutes remaining.
The Americans were able to extend their lead to two points (17-15) in the final 30 seconds, and although Italy had two opportunities to tie the game with free throws and one final two-point shot, the USA would prevail.
Their victory over Italy secured a semifinal matchup against Israel who the U.S. would go on to beat, 21-8. The USA shot the ball incredibly well, finishing as a team 14-of-17 from the field, 4-of-5 from two-point range and 3-of-3 from the charity stripe. Harper led the team in scoring with nine points (6-6 FG), while Richardson and Kayla Wells added six and five points, respectively.
The USA faced undefeated Germany, who entered the final as the top-seeded team in the Women’s Series. The USA and Germany were the only teams in the tournament averaging more than 18 points per game and they continued their high scoring ways in the Poitiers championship game.
The Germans led for a majority of the contest, but with less than four minutes to play Burdick went on a personal 3-0 run to cut the Americans deficit from six (11-17) to three (14-17). Burdick would lead the Americans with eight points and five rebounds in the game.
Ultimately the USA were able to come within one possession (17-19) with less than two minutes to play, but Germany’s Sonja Greincher secured the Germans' second-straight win on the Women’s Series tour with a two-pointer to end the game, 21-17. Greincher was named MVP of the tournament.
The next stop on the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series will be Bordeaux, France, from July 6-7. USA Basketball’s next stop on the Women’s Series is to be determined. USA Basketball can register one team for FIBA 3x3 Women's Series. Teams qualify for individual events based on the number of events they have attended and their team ranking based off finishes at said tournaments.