Team USA finishes FIBA 3×3 World Cup run in quarterfinals


Jacob Rice

Ashley Joens shoots a free throw in Iowa State’s 66-60 win over West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship on March 11 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Christian Royston

Ashley Joens and Team USA’s FIBA 3×3 World Cup journey ended Saturday morning in the quarterfinals against the Canadian National Team.

Team USA had a tall task ahead of them Friday as they finished the preliminary rounds in Pool B. Two more wins pushed them to a perfect 4-0 record going into Saturday as they took down Brazil and France.

Bright and early Friday morning, Team USA took to the court against Brazil in what proved to be another close game. Hailey Van Lith and Lauren Cox highlighted the game as the duo scored 15 of the 18 points for Team USA.

Joens added a point to the team’s total as they fought past Brazil by a score of 18-14. France was the only team between Team USA and a perfect record in pool play.

France would be a tough test for Team USA, as they were led by Laetitia Guapo, the 35th ranked woman in the world. France looked to be too much to handle out of the gate, as they mounted a daunting 16-9 lead over Team USA.

The seven-point lead was not a mountain too huge to climb for Team USA, as they mounted a strong comeback to put the game within reach. Another stellar performance by Van Lith pushed Team USA to a 20-18 win over France to go up 4-0 in Pool B. 

Joens was quiet for most of Friday as her shooting struggles continued, adding just two points to the team’s win over France. Both those points came from free throws, as she missed all five of her shots from the field.

Saturday would have to be a reset for her if the team wanted to make it far in the elimination rounds. However, that turned out not to be the case.

Team USA fought hard in the quarterfinals against Canada but fell 14-10. Canada shot more efficiently from the field, shooting 50 percent from inside the arc and 21 percent outside. 

On the other hand, Team USA only shot 35 percent from the 1-point area while making just one of the 11 shots they put up from beyond the arc. Joens shot four 1-pointers and four 2-pointers but couldn’t get anything to fall.

Ultimately, Van Lith and Cierra Burdick’s eight combined points weren’t enough to push Team USA to a win. Canada moved on to win the rest of its games, meeting France in the finals. 

France had the end goal in sight, and Canada wasn’t able to stand in their way. In a hard-fought finals game, France pulled out the gold-medal performance to finish the World Cup on top.

Although the defending 3×3 World Cup champs came up short of the medal round, making it to the world stage is an accomplishment of its own.