The US women’s basketball team wins the missing players in the opening game of the Basketball World Cup

Alyssa Thomas

Sydney – It’s been a tornado week Alyssa Thomas.

She went from losing in the WNBA Finals on Sunday to flying 10,000 miles to Australia the next day to play for the United States at the World Cup. Thomas scored 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in her first appearance with the US team, which beat Belgium 87-72 in the opening match of the tournament on Thursday.

After finding out she would be on the US roster, she never thought of skipping the World Cup.

Excited to be a part of this, 30-year-old Thomas said.

US coach Cheryl Reeve Impressed by what Thomas was able to do in such a short time.

“It’s what I expected Alyssa to do, because it’s exactly what she does. She’s competitive and knows how to[play],” Reeve said.

Brianna Stewart scored 22 points and Joel Lloyd He also scored 14 goals for the United States team, which was missing the Las Vegas Ice players Aja WilsonAnd the Chelsea Gray And the Kelsey Bloom. They were on their way to Australia after celebrating their first WNBA franchise tournament with Tuesday’s show. The trio is expected in Sydney on Friday.

More: FIBA ​​Women’s World Cup schedule, results

Thomas and her UConn teammate Briona Joneswho also arrived on Wednesday, were two of six players on the roster who had not played for the United States at a World Cup or Olympics.

This team is very different from the team that won their third consecutive gold medal in Spain in 2018. So Bird retired and Diana Taurasi He was discharged after sustaining an injury at the end of the WNBA season. Britney Greiner, who would have been on that team, is in a Russian prison after being convicted of drug possession last month in a politically charged case and sentenced to nine years in prison. The US government is trying to secure her release.

These teams came together in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, where the Americans used a great third quarter to pull out and win 16.

The Americans jumped to a 12-0 lead before Belgium settled in for a single point. The United States consolidated the lead again behind Stewart and Lloyd and led 48-39 in the first half. The Americans went 12-4 in the round to start the third quarter and put the match away.

The United States did an excellent job defensively towards Belgium Emma Mesman. The Chicago Sky star led the Olympics by scoring last year with an average of 26.8 points. She had four matches against the United States, who have now won 23 consecutive World Cup matches since losing in the 2006 semi-finals to Russia. The Americans had three wins less than matching their record of 26 games from 1998 to 2006.

Julie Vanlow He scored 13 points to lead Belgium.

“Really proud of this young team,” Messman said. “Sometimes we lacked focus but there is a lot to be proud of and we are looking forward to the next few matches.”

New number: NBA has decided that no one will wear the Griner number 15 in this tournament. Americans have used the numbers 4 through 15 for a long time. Brianna Jones, who was supposed to be 15, was wearing a number 16.

Scoreboard: Puerto Rico beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 82-58 to claim their first World Cup win.

Triple Watch: Thomas, who has scored a Triple Threat in each of his last two WNBA Finals games, hasn’t been able to get his first World Cup match since Erica Dobrovikova He did so in 1994 for the Slovak Republic against Spain. Assists and rebounds were not held before 1994.

Tip: The United States provided 25 assistance in 30 baskets. … the Americans forced 25 Belgian turns that led to 27 points. …Belgium scored 11 three-pointers to stay in the match.

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