Team USA 3X3 get two more wins to go 4-0

Kelsey Plum looks to make a pass. USA basketball photo.

Team USA 3X3 is 4-0 in the Olympic game after two more victories today.

Team USA edged Romania (0-4), 22-11, and then battled the Russian Olympic Committee (3-1) for a 20-16 victory.

Against Romania, Kelsey Plum led the way with 12 points on 7-7 shooting. After the opening minutes, the USA held a 7-6 lead when Plum’s shot sparked a 6-1 run that put the team up by six. The United States took the victory with 75 percent shooting from the field and 89 percent from inside the arc.

“I think we started to execute better,” Jackie Young said. “We locked ourselves in after a while. I think in the beginning, we weren’t executing as well as we should have. “

Stefanie Dolson had six points and Allisha Gray and Young had two each.

Against the ROC, Team USA trailed 5-2 before Plum and Gray combined for four straight points to take a 7-5 lead. Then the ROC raced to take a 10-7 lead. Gray tied the game 10-10 at 3:44, but the United States again found themselves down 14-11 at 2:55. Dolson was fouled at 2:47, and with the ROC over the foul limit, Dolson stepped to the line and made both free throws to bring the Americans to one point, 14-13.

After forcing a ROC loss, Gray made a two-point move, which was followed by a push from Plum, and the United States led 16-14. The ROC scored at 1:38 to make it 16-15, but the momentum had shifted to the US side. The Americans closed the game with one point from each athlete and gave the ROC just one more score to bring the game to its final 20-16 as time expired.

“I think we expected that, that they were going to play super physical and the fouls were going to be pretty high, but I thought we got through it for the most part,” Plum said. “They are a really good team and they have been playing together as you can see. They do a lot of really good reads. So I’m proud of the way we fight. We could have gotten depressed when we went down early, but we didn’t and we got the win. “

Allisha Gray blocks a shot. USA basketball photo.

Gray led the United States with eight points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Dolson and Plum added five each, and Young had two points and two rebounds.

After facing Italy and China tomorrow, the United States will conclude Tuesday’s preliminary round against host Japan (3-1) at 12:30 am EDT.

After the preliminary round, in which all eight teams meet once, the first and second place teams get an automatic place in the semifinals on July 28, and the third to sixth place teams will meet in the games of semifinals. The seventh and eighth place teams after the preliminary round conclude their Olympic game.

Team USA will face Italy and China tomorrow.

USA Basketball contributed to this report

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