TOKYO – In close competition, the US women’s Olympic basketball team (2-0) beat France to a 93-82 victory on Monday afternoon at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, with the United States trailing behind 72-71 at 9:02 in the fourth quarter, but dominated France 22-10 to close the victory.
A’ja Wilson had 22 points and seven rebounds; Breanna Stewart added 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists; Tina Charles finished with 15 points and five assists; Brittney Griner scored 11 points; and Jewell Loyd distributed eight assists.
Duke graduate Chelsea Gray played just over 15 minutes in the victory for the United States, while recording five points, two rebounds and an assist.
The first quarter saw a 9-2 American run to start the game, but France responded with a 9-0 streak to go ahead 11-2 at 5:30. The game was tied at 11-11 and 13-13, before France ended up edging the United States 9-6 to lead 22-19 after the first quarter.
The teams traded baskets for the first 4:03 of the second quarter, and the United States tied the game 39-39 with back-to-back scores at 5:15. France responded with a 3, and the lead changed hands three times before the United States closed with a 7-0 streak to take the 50-44 halftime lead.
Stewart collected his 14 points in the first half in the second quarter, and the United States were 66.7% of the field (12-18 FG) in the second quarter.
The United States was hit by six turnovers in the third quarter, which saw France beat the United States 23-21 to reduce the United States’ lead to four points, 71-67, before the fourth. trimester.
France scored the first five points of the final period to lead 72-71, but the United States responded with seven straight points to regain a 78-72 7:12 lead over Wilson’s second straight jumper. After the scores of both teams, the United States added a 3 for Sue Bird and did not leave France less than six points away. Charles scored eight of his points in the fourth, including two from 3 points.
The United States will know their quarterfinal game after the draw which will take place after the last game of the preliminary round which will be played on Monday.
Duke graduate Oderah Chidom and Blue Devil senior Elisabeth Balogun also played Monday with Nigeria in a 102-83 loss to Japan. Chidom had a solid game with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in nearly 25 minutes. Balogun played eight minutes and scored five points on 2 of 3 goals, including 1 of 1 on three-point field and got a rebound.
Japan took the lead 51-38 at halftime and were able to extend their lead in the third quarter, but Balogun and Chidom helped Nigeria beat Japan, 26-18, in the fourth quarter to close the game.