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USA Wins 27th Straight FIBA Women's World Cup Game

  • Author:
    Owen Kaelble
  • Date:
    Sep 27, 2022

Fresh off a record-setting performance against Korea, the USA continued its winning ways by finishing off group play with a 121-59 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a national record-setting 27th World Cup win in a row for the Americans, surpassing the previous record of 26 set from 1994-2006. Combined in their four games in group play, the U.S. has outscored its opponents 536 to 305. Now, the team awaits the draw for its quarterfinal matchup set for Thursday.

 

The USA has not lost a World Cup game prior to the semifinal round in the past nine tournaments.  

 

Tuesday’s game continued a number of defensive patterns set by the USA, including 23 Bosnia turnovers, leading to 36 USA points. The Americans scored 34 fast break points and allowed a grand total of zero, while also only allowing 28 points in the paint and scoring 84 points near the basket themselves.

 

“That’s been our goal, to be a great defensive team,” said coach Cheryl Reeve. “You have a chance to win every game when you play great defense.”

 

This year’s team has steadfastly followed that mission, standing out defensively in a number of categories, especially compared to the most recent World Cup team four years ago in Tenerife.

 

In 2018, the USA put up impressive numbers, defeating its opponents by an average of 20.3 points per game and allowing only an average of only 67.3 points per game. This year’s team, however, has far surpassed those numbers, winning by an average of 46.2 points and only giving up 61 points per game. That is only the beginning, however.

 

In five Group Phase games, USA Basketball has forced an average of 21.6 turnovers per game and has scored an average of 30.4 points off of those giveaways. In total, this year’s squad is forcing an average of five more turnovers and is scoring nearly 13 more points off of those turnovers.

 

The staunch defense so far throughout the tournament just fits with the “relentless” aspect of this team, according to Alyssa Thomas.

 

“I think we just go out there and play our game each and every night,” said Thomas. “I’m not so worried about the score and am just really focused on us and getting better each and every game.”

 

The changes also extend to the depth of this year’s team. While the bench in the 2018 championship run performed an important role, scoring 36.6 points per game, this team’s bench is scoring 49.6 points per game. And this comes with the roster only being complete for a total of two games so far this World Cup.

 

“It’s phenomenal to see how many people (know) how talented we are,” said Kelsey Plum, who scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. “I mean, just one through twelve you know. Just talk about Shakira Austin. I mean, shoot, coming in and wreaking havoc on people. Brionna Jones, I mean, to be able to have those people come off your bench. And then not to minus, you got MVPs and defensive players of the year and world class players, baby ‘Bron over here (Alyssa Thomas). It’s just been a lot of fun.”

 

Owen Kaelble is a contributor to USAB.com as part of the Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI.

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