United States further title favouritism with thumping win
THE United States remain the side to beat in the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup after delivering another brutal performance, downing South Korea to the tune of 76 points in Sydney on Monday.
It was shaping up to be a one-sided matchup, and a dominant showing from the U.S. ensured that was the case. They were a step ahead of South Korea the entire match, claiming a thoroughly deserved win and moving one step closer to the title.
It was a high-scoring start to the match, with a combined 53 points registered for the opening term. Unfortunately for South Korea, it conceded 32 of those, as the United States got rolling almost effortlessly and jumped out to an extremely fast double-digit lead.
The damage only got worse from there, as the Koreans began to tire as it struggled to keep up with a U.S. side that demanded 100 percent on both ends of the court. Another 30-plus point quarter saw the margin balloon out to a whopping 28 points with still two quarters to play.
Any hope South Korea held of a miracle comeback was certainly erased in the third period, as the U.S. somehow took its game to yet another level. The opposition was overwhelmed as the United States delivered suffocating defence that was matched down the other end with some smooth-moving offence.
Despite dominating all day, the U.S. saved its best for last, producing a stunning 39-point final quarter and making the deficit even bigger. Whether it was in the paint or behind the arc, no shot came easy for the Korean side, who tried to chip away at the mammoth margin, but to no avail.
Monday’s win was the epitome of a team performance from the victors, with eight players scoring double-digits and four registering at least 18 points. Brionna Jones was at the top of the list with 24 points (12/14 FG) and eight rebounds and delivered on the defensive end as well with three steals and two blocks. Just behind her was A’Ja Wilson with 20 points (10/11 FG) and eight boards, while Kelsey Plum (19 points, 3/5 3PT) and Breanna Stewart (18 points) also caught the eye in a dominant team showing.
Hyejin Park fought hard all day for Korea, despite the one-sided performance on the scoreboard, and ended the game with 17 points. She was able to fight through the stingy defence and produce buckets from an array of areas in the half court.
The remaining action for the first half of Monday saw Belgium claim a 30-point triumph over Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Serbia got the job done against Mali.