The USA Basketball women’s national team continued their schedule of fall friendlies on Sunday, beating Duke University, 87-58 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Like last week’s match against Tennessee, this was a blowout. It’s what you expect when WNBA All-Stars are playing against one of the better college teams in NCAA Division I. Duke is ranked No. 19 in the Coaches’ poll, but unranked in the AP poll.
Unfortunately, Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins didn’t play today. But I think she’s on the inside track to make the 2024 Olympic team. This game is more about the players who are on the fence to make the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament squad in February.
Chicago Sky guard Kahleah Copper, who played for the Washington Mystics in 2016, led the Americans with 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting in just 16 minutes. She also made 4-of-5 three pointers. Given how she performed in both friendlies, she should be a lock for the tournament.
In addition to Copper’s great performance, Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray scored 16 points points and Los Angeles Sparks guard Dearica Hamby added 14 more. The Americans shot over 50 percent from the field today.
For Duke, sophomore guard Taina Mair led with 16 points. She was the only Blue Devil to score in double figures. Here is a link to one of her highlights.
Duke’s Taina Mair isn’t intimidated pic.twitter.com/ETGtsRyCr3— Monica Holland (@MonicaHolland1) November 12, 2023
Taina Mair midrange is lethal— Duke Women’s Basketball (@DukeWBB) November 12, 2023
16 PTS, 5 REB | 76-54 pic.twitter.com/ZHOKZNLOSt
This game doesn’t count for Duke, who is 2-0 in the standings. The Blue Devils will continue their regular season on the road to play the Columbia Lions in Manhattan on Tuesday.
As for Team USA, their players are off to their WNBA offseason activities or professional teams overseas until February for the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in February. The Americans’ first game will be against Belgium on Feb. 8 in Antwerp. Hopefully Atkins and perhaps more Mystics players make it.