Stephanie Mawuli (six points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks) blocked a Kelsey Plum 2-point attempt at the buzzer and Japan’s 3x3 women’s basketball team held on to defeat Team USA 20-18 in the final prelim game for both teams on Tuesday at Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo. The U.S., which had already clinched the No. 1 seed for tournament play, fell to 6-1, while Japan improved to 5-2. ‘
USA will play next at 4 a.m. on Wednesday in the semifinals.
Mai Yamamoto (eight points, one rebound, one assist) put Japan up two with a score at 31 seconds remaining. Her team had trailed 5-0, 6-1, and 14-9. Yamamoto also capped a 7-1 Japan run that resulted in a 16-15 Japan lead with a 2-pointer at 2:01 remaining.
Mio Shinozaki added four points, four rebounds and three assists to the winning cause while teammate Risa Nishioka recorded two points, three rebounds and a block.
Dolson led the U.S. with seven points in defeat. She also had three rebounds and two assists while Allisha Gray was good for five points, two rebounds and two assists. Jackie Young was solid too with four points, four rebounds and two assists, but Plum, who has been phenomenal for the U.S. in these Olympics, was held to just two points and 0-of-4 shooting from deep.
2-pointers made a big difference in the contest as Japan went 3-of-7 from beyond the arc compared to USA’s combined 0-of-5 effort. Japan also went 4-of-4 from the free throw line while the U.S. was 1-of-2.
Seemed like Team USA 3x3 got a bit complacent in 20-18 loss to Japan, losing 5-point leads twice. However, loss had no impact on the Americans seeding-wise; they already had wrapped up top seed in semifinals. If they were going to have an off game, this was best time to do it.— Mechelle Voepel (@MechelleV) July 27, 2021