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The USA Women Overcame Another Early Deficit To Beat France And Finish 3-0 In Their Group

For the third time in as many games at the Olympics, the USA women found themselves down early on Monday in Tokyo. After trailing by five late in the first quarter to Nigeria and two after one period to Japan, they were down 22-19 to France in their final group stage game.

It was an impressive performance early and throughout the game for the French squad, as they had six players reach double figures (led by 15 from Edene Miyam) in what was a balanced offensive effort that kept them in contact with Team USA throughout the game. In the second quarter, they had to withstand the expected American response, which was led by Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson, as the USA continues to dominate thanks to their exceptional frontcourt rotation that, to this point, no opponent has had an answer for.

Whereas Japan and Nigeria weren’t able to keep up with the American women into the second half, France managed to hang tight and even take a fourth quarter lead early, as Team USA found itself in its most precarious position of the tournament. However, after dominating in the paint early on, they started to heat up from three, led by a perfect 3-for-3 night from Tina Charles from deep, as well as a pair of timely Sue Bird threes as well.

As was the case against Japan, Wilson was the leading scorer for Team USA with 22 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block in another dominant performance. She was joined in double figures by Stewart (17 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists), Charles (15 points and 5 assists), and Britney Griner (11 points, 3 rebounds), while Jewell Loyd (8 assists) and Bird (4 assists) set the table for their frontcourt to eat.

France’s performance was impressive, but as a team they just couldn’t shoot well enough from deep (29 percent) to stay attached in the fourth quarter as legs seemed to get a bit tired. Gabby Williams (10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 6 steals), Marine Johannes (11 points, 7 assists), and Sadrina Gruda (12 points, 6 rebounds) all joined Miyam with terrific games in a hard fought loss.

On the other side, it was likewise a strong performance from the Americans in the face of just really good play from France. Team USA shot it well (56 percent from the field, 45 percent from three) and had 30 assists on 35 made baskets, as the ball moved as well as it has all tournament with just 12 turnovers, an improvement over some sloppy play in the first two games. They had a response for each run by France and, in the end, just had too much firepower for the French women to overcome as they remain undefeated going into the quarterfinals.

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