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U.S. girls’s basketball group earns first exhibition win, routs Nigeria

LAS VEGAS — The U.S. girls’s Olympic group was in unfamiliar territory having dropped two exhibition video games in a row for the primary time in a decade.

The People rebounded with a robust effort to beat Nigeria 93-62 on Sunday within the remaining pre-Olympic exhibition tuneup for each groups.

“It feels good,” U.S. coach Daybreak Staley mentioned. “To come back out and play the way in which we did on each side of the basketball. We shared it, acquired our bigs the ball. We made a concerted effort to do this. I believe everybody within the locker room feels good about having the ability to affect the sport in numerous other ways.”

A’ja Wilson scored 16 factors and Breanna Stewart added 14 to steer the U.S., which dropped consecutive exhibition video games for the primary time since 2011 with losses to the WNBA All-Stars and Australia this week.

“Nobody needs to be on the group that loses,” Wilson mentioned. “I used to be a little bit like uh-oh. Folks speak and leap the gun say the whole lot and something. The vets had been like, it is OK, it is a part of the sport, we’ll get again. Coach got here in in the present day and mentioned we’re getting again to our dominance and that helped me really feel a little bit extra comfy. The folks we have now within the locker room are so gifted. We all know what we had been doing.”

The People acquired off to a robust begin, racing out to a 20-4 lead. After taking pictures 2-for-18 from behind the 3-point arc within the loss to Australia, the U.S. pounded the ball inside early and sometimes towards Nigeria. The primary 10 factors got here from Wilson and Brittney Griner.

The U.S. led 29-15 after one quarter as Stewart had 10 factors. Griner took over within the second quarter to assist the People lengthen the result in 55-34 on the half. Nigeria by no means made a run within the second half towards the U.S., which was lacking Diana Taurasi for the third straight exhibition recreation as she recovers from a hip damage.

She mentioned Saturday that she’d be prepared for the Olympics.

Nigeria’s roster continues to be undetermined for the Olympics that start subsequent week. The African nation was attempting to get Nneka Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams to play for them. The 2 have filed appeals to the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport in a last-ditch effort mentioned two folks aware of the state of affairs.

The pair had been notified earlier this week by FIBA that their petition to play for the African nation had been denied as a result of they performed for the U.S. nationwide program for too lengthy. The folks spoke to The Related Press Friday on situation of anonymity as a result of no official announcement had been made.

The 2 WNBA gamers would wish to have FIBA’s determination overturned by Sunday evening’s registration deadline for the Olympics or have the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) grant them a provisional allowance and add them to the roster till a listening to can happen.

Nigeria coach Otis Hughley Jr. wasn’t certain when and the way the CAS would determine.

“I want I might reply these questions. I do not know the solutions to these questions,” he mentioned. “I am locked into the ladies we have now who’re eligible. I hope and pray that adjustments. … It could be a welcome addition.”

Hughley was dissatisfied that FIBA would not permit Nneka Ogwumike and Williams to play for Nigeria within the Olympics.

“It is unlucky it is popping out the way in which it’s,” he mentioned. “The dad and mom and grandparents are each born there. Why would you not certify them? … Each nation on this earth there’s an African on them. Why would not you let these kids return to their very own roots?”

Williams did play for Nigeria within the exhibition recreation, whereas Ogwumike and her sister Chiney, who was permitted to play as a naturalized participant for Nigeria, had been on the bench however not suited up.

Nneka Ogwumike did not make the U.S. Olympic roster, which set off the chain of occasions that led to her attempting to play for Nigeria, the place she and her sisters maintain twin citizenship.

Erica Ogwumike, the youngest of the 4 Ogwumike sisters, had 5 factors for Nigeria. Atonye Nyingifa scored 9 factors to steer the group.

Nigeria has been a group on the rise, reaching the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2018. earlier than dropping to the U.S.

These two groups will open towards one another within the Olympics on July 27.

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