The United States women’s national team comes out victorious over Nigeria, 81-72 in the first game of group play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Despite a late run from Nigeria in the fourth quarter, Team USA still prevailed and secured the win. A’ja Wilson couldn’t be stopped as she had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Brittney Griner added 13 points and 10 rebounds of her own while Diana Taurasi had 10 points as well. Nigeria just couldn’t stop Team USA in the paint and it showed throughout the game.
A notable stat we’re used to seeing is from Sue Bird who didn’t score much but dished out 11 assists reaching 100 Olympic career assists.
From the looks of the first half score it would seem that Team USA started the game off blazing but they were pretty sluggish in the first quarter having a lot of turnovers as Team Nigeria was using their speed to their advantage getting the ball down the court and capitalizing on good shots. Taurasi and Jewel Loyd both ended the first quarter with five points apiece. Nigeria led 25-20 at the beginning of the second and then never saw a lead again in the game.
Something must’ve clicked or it was just nerves for Team USA because they came out in the second quarter with a vengeance out scoring Nigeria 27-12 in the second thanks to a 23-0 run holding Nigeria scoreless for over six minutes. At the half, Taurasi led all scorers with 10 points while Wilson and Griner both had seven points.
Team USA will continue their Olympic run on Friday as they play Japan who sits atop of the group at 1-0. Game time is scheduled for 12:40 a.m. ET on USA Network.