USA women's captures first Olympic gold in 3x3 history
History, or rather HERstory, was made this morning in Tokyo on the 3x3 courts.
After defeating France 18-16 in an intense game a few hours earlier, Team USA awaited their opponent for the gold medal game. It was between China and the Russian Olympic Committee.
The ROC prevailed over China and the matchup was set. The quest for the first ever 3x3 gold was going to be a battle between the USA and ROC.
In a nail-biting game that went all the way down to the final buzzer, Team USA defeated the Russian Olympic Committee 18-15. The game had so many twists and turns, defensive hustle and tons of heart.
USA won the coin flip and it was go time.
Allisha Gray started the game off draining a free-throw. Stefanie Dolson used her height to get a rebound and Kelsey Plum proceeded to drive left for an easy layup. After all, lefties like going left.
It took a bit for more offense to roll, but Dolson broke the mini cold streak with a one-pointer to give USA a 5-1 lead.
Plum made three straight one-pointers and suddenly it was an 8-3 USA lead.
Free-throws and defense intensity were key throughout the rest of this game.
If the USA wanted to come out on top and get the gold, they had to drain all their free-throws and make sure the ROC got no easy baskets.
What helped their case was the ROC committed a total of 10 fouls, gifting a double bonus and subsequent free-throws to the USA.
For a short period of time, USA's offense was drifting away and ROC's offense was on the rise. But remember, ROC still had to be really careful on defense otherwise USA free-throws would cost them the gold.
Jackie Young came up clutch, draining two free-throws, draining two to end 43 second, 3-0 run.
When the ROC was threatening, USA was battling.
A few one pointers here and there and two clutch free-throws from Dolson to make it a 17-12 game all but secured USA's win.
The ROC wasn't ready to give up quite yet.
They came up with a clutch two-pointer but Dolson responded with a one to make it a 18-14 game.
With only four seconds left, the ROC drained a one but it was too little too late.
The ROC decided not to foul and the USA dribbled it out.
Right when the buzzer rang, celebrations started and HERstory was made.
Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young etched themselves in the books as the first ever 3x3 women's champions.
They will return back to the United States Olympic gold medal champions.
Being the underdogs isn't normal for the United States. The world better watch out. No matter how low you place Team USA in women's basketball, they will prevail and shock everyone.