The 2019-20 USA Women’s National Team (12-1) had a strong showing in its Olympic pre-qualifying games over the weekend, winning by 15 points (Thursday), 57 points (Saturday) and 56 points (Sunday), respectively. Those were the first three games that the team played following its Nov. 9 loss to the No. 1 Oregon Ducks during their college circuit of exhibition games, which also included contests against No. 3 Stanford, No. 7 Oregon State and No. 5 Texas A&M.
Here’s how the team looked against Brazil, Argentina and Colombia:
Team USA vs. Brazil
Final score: 76-61
Team USA shot well overall (51 percent from the field and 6-for-13 from distance) but was even with Brazil, with 30 rebounds. Sylvia Fowles and Chelsea Gray had 21 points apiece to pace the team and Gray also dished out eight assists. Diamond DeShields had a sub-par outing with just two points and five fouls.
Team USA vs. Argentina
Final score: 91-34
Defense was key in this one. Team USA held Argentina to 19.4 percent shooting and 3-for-22 from 3-point territory. Fowles and DeShields led the way with 13 points apiece, while Napheesa Collier hauled in 12 rebounds.
Team USA vs. Colombia
Final score: 104-48
Team USA finished the three-game Olympic pre-qualifying stretch on a high note, scoring 64 points in the second half against Colombia. But it was a bounce-back effort, as Colombia remained close in the first half by playing nearly even with the U.S. in terms of turnovers and rebounds. A’ja Wilson gave Fowles a break and carried the scoring load with 23 points, while Arike Ogunbowale had a late flurry that included back-to-back threes to finish with 17.
Up next for Team USA is another college tour, which will take place in January and February. That will be followed by another pre-qualifying tournament even though the team already clinched a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when they won the 2018 FIBA World Cup gold medal.