USA Women’s 3x3 team qualifies for Tokyo Olympics
Allisha Gray led United States to Tokyo berth
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With the United States up, 20-13, over Spain with 25 seconds left, Stefanie Dolson swung the ball to Kelsey Plum to set up a pick-and-roll. The Spanish team blitzed Plum, who took two dribbles and threw an overhead pass to a wide-open Dolson rolling to the basket, who sunk the game-winning layup and was immediately swarmed by her teammates.
The United States women’s 3x3 team claimed an automatic qualifier to the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics on Sunday morning, after winning the quarterfinals and semifinals in Pool A of the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2021. The U.S. won its first two games of the bracket by a combined score of 19, besting Belarus in the quarters, 21-10, and Spain in the semifinals, 21-13.
Led by Allisha Gray’s 13 points and 17 rebounds, the 3x3 team made quick work of both opponents. The U.S. jumped out to a 9-1 lead over Belarus and ended the game on a 7-1 run. Against Spain, the United States opened 6-2, before allowing the Spaniards to go on a 4-1 run. The Americans responded with a 6-1 run of their own, and the game was only as close as 16-12 from then on.
The United States team consists of Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum, Stefanie Dolson and Katie Lou Samuelson. Gray has been one of the team’s top-two scorers in all six games they played this tournament, and shot 52.6% with just one turnover on Sunday. She has appeared in one WNBA game this season, putting up a 23/9/4/4 line in the Dallas Wings’ season-opening win over Los Angeles.
Dolson, a center for the Chicago Sky, dropped ten points on 9-14 from the field and 12 rebounds. Plum, a combo guard who plays for the Aces, added 11 points on Sunday, with Seattle wing Samuelson contributing another eight points. The team is led by Duke head coach Kara Lawson.
Since both finalist teams of the qualifying tournament are locks for the Olympics, the U.S. 3x3 team will not play a championship game against France, winners of the Pool B semifinals. Spain and Japan will play a consolation match to decide third place for the final Olympic spot.
The United States will play in the Tokyo Olympics in July, with pool play from July 24 to 27, the quarterfinals on the 27th, and the semifinals and the gold medal game on the 28th.