The USA Basketball women’s national team has won the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup after an 83-61 win over China on Saturday evening (local time) in Sydney, Australia.
The Americans were able to build a significant lead in the second and third quarters. And I feel like I’m writing the same story line again and again, because ... they were never truly threatened at any point.
For the Washington Mystics players, Ariel Atkins played 17 minutes, scoring 6 points on 2-of-3 shooting. She averaged 5.5 points per game in the World Cup and was not a major factor on offense throughout the entire tournament. However, Atkins was one of the team’s primary defensive specialists, which is what she was brought her for.
Shakira Austin only played 5 minutes today and was scoreless. However, she averaged 8.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, including a 19 point, 10 rebound performance against Puerto Rico during group play. I am particularly excited about what she will bring to the Mystics next season after her run in Sydney.
Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault was also a major part of this campaign, where he was an assistant coach on Cheryl Reeve’s staff. In addition, former Mystics player and now Duke head coach Kara Lawson is the other assistant. Unlike most of Team USA’s recent international competitions. this team had a lot of current Mystics playing a part in it.
For Team USA as a whole, Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson led with 19 points and 5 rebounds, while Aces guard Kelsey Plum added 17 more. For China, Chicago Sky Li Yueru led with 19 points.
In the bronze medal match, Australia beat Canada 95-65 for third place.
I have some more thoughts on the World Cup which I hope to get out sometime next week.
Congratulations Team USA!