Underdog USA women's 3x3 goes 2-0 in Olympic debut
The much anticipated debut of the Olympic 3x3 basketball tournament is officially in full swing.
Despite their strong showing, and gold medal finish, in the Olympic pre-qualifying tournament, Team USA was ranked no. 8, the lowest seed.
The Americans, not being used to being an underdog, showed that they wouldn't let their last seed damper their play on the court.
But before I get into the games from this morning, here's the roster.
Stefanie Dolson-Chicago Sky/Connecticut
Allisha Gray-Dallas Wings/South Carolona
Kelsey Plum-Las Vegas Aces/Washington
*Jackie Young-Las Vegas Aces/Notre Dame
*Young was a late addition to the squad after original member Katie Lou Samuelson tested positive for COVID.
USA's first task was against no.1 France and it was nothing but a nail-biter. The game went down to the literal buzzer, with no team letting up for a second.
In the first two minutes, both teams came out of the gate firing on both sides of the court.
Kelsey Plum got things started for USA with a layup but after a few missed shots, France responded with a two pointer.
After that, it was non-stop buckets. Whenever one team made a shot, the other team responded in what seemed like less than a second. But don't let that non-stop offense bursts distract you.
For the remainder of the game, both teams held their ground on defense, causing some missed shots. It was like they had hall-of-fame clamps on NBA 2k.
It seemed as though both teams were struggling to convert shots and make them in general. That's the true epitome of how great USA and France's defensive game plans were executed.
After what seemed like a never-ending drought, France's Migna Touré hit a deep one to make it a 1 point USA (9-8) lead.
If the USA wanted to pull off this win, they needed to start going inside. They did just that. Dolson faked the defense and spun for a layup to extend the lead to two. Young bullied into the paint for a highly contested layup followed by a pick-and-roll to Dolson for a reverse layup.
With USA going on a run and allowing Plum to hit a wide open three, France needed some stops and some buckets to gain some momentum.
France had some great defensive stops with the USA missing some open shots. Ana Maria Filip took advantage and hit a fadeaway and a reverse layup to make the score 14-10 in USA's favor with under two minutes left.
As the final buzzer rang, the USA found themselves on the right end of an upset, defeating no. 1 France 17-10.
A few hours later, it was time for USA's next task, defeating no. 7 Mongolia.
Gray got the game rolling for USA, draining a two. The rest of the game was basically all Dolson.
Unfortunately for Mongolia, Dolson would go absolute beast mode on them inside, a team's worst nightmare. Her size advantage was proven to be way too much for the undersized Mongolians.
The USA defeated Mongolia 21-9 in just 7 minutes, the fastest recorded win so far in the Olympics.
There's not much to say other than the Americans proved to be such a dominating force inside and outside that other countries better watch out. The USA are hungry and came to play.
USA will make their national televised debut on July 25th. They face Romania at 3:30 AM CT on USA Network and Russian Olympic Committee at 7:25 AM CT on NBC.