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U.S. Women’s Basketball Perfect In Final Pre-World Cup Exhibition Games

By Karen Price | Sept. 17, 2018, 6:51 p.m. (ET)

A'ja Wilson takes a shot during the U.S. women's basketball team's game against Senegal on Sept. 16, 2018 in Antibes, France.


The preparations are now over, and the U.S. women’s basketball team is ready to go for its third consecutive FIBA World Cup gold medal.

Team USA wrapped up a four-team, three-game exhibition series in France with a 3-0 record after defeating the host country, 77-60, on Monday.

Four-time Olympic champion Diana Taurasi led the team in scoring against France with 16 points and added five rebounds and six assists. Two-time Olympian Tina Charles added 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Kelsey Plum had 12 points and five assists off the bench.

The U.S. opened the series with an 84-68 win over Canada on Saturday. It was the Americans’ second time facing Canada in less than a week. The first time the U.S. needed a fourth-quarter rally to get past their neighbors from the north.

On Saturday, Team USA had the benefit of having Taurasi and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner. The U.S. went on a run late in the first quarter to build a double-digit lead in the second and from there Team USA controlled the game.

A’ja Wilson led the team with 14 points, including 10 in the third quarter alone, while Griner had 13 points and Taurasi 10 in their first game back with the national team following their appearances in the WNBA playoffs as members of the Phoenix Mercury.

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The U.S. faced its next test against Senegal on Sunday, leading from start to finish and shooting 62.1 percent from the field while limiting their opponents to 28 percent shooting in a 109-58 win. Team USA also out-rebounded Senegal, 54-31, and scored 64 points off the bench.

Wilson once again led the scoring with 22 points followed by Morgan Tuck with 15 points and Plum with 12 points and nine assists. 

The U.S. will announce the final 12-member roster that will compete at the World Cup prior to Sept. 22, when the tournament begins.

Should Team USA win the tournament, this would be the Americans’ first World Cup three-peat. The tournament opens in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, on Sept. 22 against Senegal. They will also face China and Latvia in the preliminary round before the quarterfinal qualification round games begin on Sept. 26.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Diana Taurasi

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Tina Charles

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Brittney Griner