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

LAS VEGAS — The U.S. girls’s Olympic basketball staff was in unfamiliar territory after dropping two exhibition video games in a row for the primary time in a decade.

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

“It feels good,” U.S. coach Daybreak Staley stated. “To return out and play the best way we did on either side of the basketball. We shared it, acquired our bigs the ball. We made a concerted effort to try this. I feel everybody within the locker room feels good about having the ability to influence the sport in lots of alternative ways.”

A’ja Wilson scored 16 factors and Breanna Stewart added 14 to guide 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 desires to be on the staff that loses,” Wilson stated. “I used to be just a little like, ‘Uh-oh.’ Folks speak and soar the gun, say all the pieces 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 as we speak and stated we’re getting again to our dominance and that helped me really feel just a little extra comfy. The folks now we have within the locker room are so gifted. We all know what we had been doing.”

The People acquired off to a powerful begin, racing to a 20-4 lead. After capturing 2-for-18 from behind the 3-point arc within the loss to Australia, the U.S. pounded the ball inside early and sometimes in opposition to 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 prolong the result in 55-34 on the half. Nigeria by no means made a run within the second half in opposition to the U.S., which was lacking Diana Taurasi for the third straight exhibition sport as she recovers from a hip damage.

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

Nigeria’s roster continues to be undetermined for the Olympics that start subsequent week, because the African nation tries to convey on Nneka Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams. Williams did play for Nigeria within the exhibition sport, whereas Ogwumike and her sister Chiney, who was accredited to play as a naturalized participant for Nigeria, had been on the bench however not suited up.

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

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

These two groups will open in opposition to one another within the Olympics on July 27.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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