USA Women Win Third Straight Stop at 3x3 U23 Nations League
The USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 U23 Nations League Team secured their third straight Stop title at the 2022 FIBA 3x3 U23 Nations League Americas conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on Monday. The women defeated Puerto Rico, 21-8, in the final to improve to 9-0at the competition.
The women defeated Argentina for the third straight day. However, the 21-14 victory today came in the first game of Pool A instead of the final like the previous two matchups. The USA excelled on offense as the Argentinians could not contain the scoring of Maddy Siegrist and Kayla Wells. Siegrist stretched the court with her jump shot to the tune of a game-high nine points. Wells was effective close to the rim and at the charity stripe, finishing with six points and the game-ending free throw.
The U.S. had a significant size advantage against the Dominican Republic in their second pool game. They jumped to a quick 14-2 lead behind the Siegrist’s sweet shooting and Aaliyah Moore’s inside skill. The Americans polished off the 21-5 victory with 4:30 left on the clock.
Celeste Taylor had a breakout performance in the final. She scored 12 points and stretched the Puerto Rican defense by knocking down four two-point shots. With Taylor scoring in a myriad of ways, Moore, Siegrist and Wells chipped in enough to seal title for the USA.
The men went 2-0 in pool play but fell to host Dominican Republic in the final.
Their day began with a rematch against Puerto Rico. This time the final score favored the Americans, handling their opponent in short order, 21-9. Keaton Wallace led the way with nine points as he took advantage of his speed to the rim. The U.S. opened on a 12-3 run and remained in control throughout.
It took an 18-16 overtime victory over Argentina for the USA to advance out of pool play. It was a slow offensive start for both sides but the Argentinians built a 9-6 lead at the 5:00 minute mark. However, Wallace scored the next eight points for the U.S. for a 14-12 lead with less than 60 seconds left. Argentina responded to take a 16-14 lead but with 12.9 seconds left, Austin Butler was fouled on a two-point attempt and converted both free throws for the contest to go into extra time. Wallace and Dixon scored the two baskets in the first-to-two-points overtime period, sending the red, white and blue to the final.
The final was competitive as neither U.S. nor the Dominicans built more than a three-point lead. Eric Dixon scored a personal-best eight points in the game while Wallace scored four. The Dominican Republic was able to match the USA’s intensity and used a 5-0 late in the game to reverse the score and take a lead they would not relinquish.
The USA men and women have an off day Tuesday, August 16, before resuming the competition for Stop 4 on Wednesday.
ABOUT FIBA 3x3 NATIONS LEAGUE
The FIBA 3x3 Nations League is comprised of 57 different national federations and 11 difference conferences. Each conference has six one-day events which includes daily pool play and final. Teams earn tour standing points after each one-day event. The best-ranked team in the standings after the sixth day are declared winners of their conference and qualify for the 2022 FIBA 3x3 Nations League Final in Constanta, Romania, on Sept. 14-16.
ABOUT FIBA 3X3
Different than five-on-five, 3x3 is played on a half-court with a 10-minute game clock and 12-second shot clock. Play is continuous, as teams “clear” the ball behind the 2-point line following a made basket, defensive rebound or steal. The first team to score 21 points via 1-pointer field goals or 2-pointers behind the arc is victorious; or if time expires then the team leading wins.