POWAY (CNS) – Poway resident Kelsey Plum made all seven of her 1-point shots en route to a game-high 12 points as the United States Olympic women’s 3X3 basketball team defeated Romania, 22-11, Sunday in a pool round game in Tokyo.
The Americans never trailed and were only tied twice, 3-3 and 4-4. Plum made a 2-point basket to begin a 6-1 run that spanned one minute, 42 seconds that turned a 7-6 U.S. lead into a 13-7 advantage.
Plum ended the game with a 2-point basket with 2:39 remaining. She made all 11 of her 1-point shots through three games of the inaugural Olympic women’s 3X3 basketball tournament.
The game is played with a 12-second shot clock on a half court. Baskets inside the arc and free throws are worth one point and baskets made from outside the arc are worth two points.
The winner is the first team to score 21 points or the leading team at the end of the 10-minute game clock.
Plum scored five points in a 20-16 victory over the previously undefeated Russian Olympic Committee later Sunday, also at Aomi Urban Sports Park, improving to 4-0.
The U.S. trailed by three five times, the last 14-11 with 2:55 left, then outscored the Russians, 9-2, over the final 2:47, with Stephanie Dolson and Allisha Gray each scoring three points and Plum two.
Gray led the U.S. with eight while Yulia Kozik led the Russians with eight.
Plum said the U.S. players expected that the Russians “were going to play super physical and the fouls were going to be pretty high, but I thought we played through it for the most part.”
“They’re a really good team, and they’ve been playing together as you can see,” Plum said. “They make a lot of really good reads. So, I’m just proud of the way we battled. We could have gotten down on ourselves when we got down early, but we didn’t, and we got the win.”
All Russian athletes at the Tokyo Games are competing for the Russian Olympic Committee. A ruling last year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned Russia’s flag, anthem and team name as punishment for an extensive doping program and cover-ups.
The pool round portion of the tournament consists of one game against each of other seven teams. The teams with two best records advance to the semifinals while the third through sixth place teams will advance to the quarterfinals.
The U.S. will resume pool round play Monday, facing Italy at 1:55 a.m. and China at 5 a.m. The Italy game will be streamed at stream.nbcolympics.com/basketball-3×3-mens-womens-prelims-session-11 and the China game at stream.nbcolympics.com/basketball-3×3-mens-womens-prelims-session- 12.
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