Breanna Stewart and her U.S. Olympic teammates aren’t panicking, regardless that they’ve misplaced consecutive video games for the primary time in a decade.
Two days after shedding to a crew of WNBA All-Stars, the Americans fell to Australia 70-67 on Friday in a pre-Olympic exhibition recreation.
“There’s a standard and the standard is winning and we haven’t gotten to that point yet,” mentioned Stewart, who scored 17 factors for the U.S. “It’s frustrating, it’s part of the game and part of the process. When we get to Tokyo and get to the Olympics that’s when it’s really, really crunch time. We’re continuing to elevate and get better every day. We’ll get to where we want to be.”
The U.S. struggled from the skin, lacking 16 of its 18 3-point makes an attempt. The Americans, who obtained collectively as a crew for the primary time earlier this week, additionally had 18 turnovers.
“In the third quarter we turned the ball over and gave Australia too many easy baskets,” U.S. coach Dawn Staley mentioned.
“We were able to defend when we’re in front of them. When we turned the ball over, we weren’t able to get back.” It was the primary time the U.S. has misplaced back-to-back video games since 2011 in Spain. The Americans had gone 29-2 since then in exhibition video games.
Ezi Magbegor, Stewart’s Seattle Storm teammate, scored 17 factors to guide Australia.
Stewart’s three-point play tied the sport at 66 with 2:59 left earlier than Magbegor scored and Marianna Tolo made a reverse layup with 2 minutes remaining to present Australia a 70-66 benefit.
The U.S. missed seven straight photographs earlier than Brittney Griner was fouled with 17 seconds left. She made one in every of two free throws.
After a timeout, the U.S. dedicated 4 consecutive fouls to attempt to get Australia to the foul line. After the fourth foul, Australia turned the ball over with 10.9 seconds left, however Stewart’s 3-pointer earlier than the buzzer was off the mark.
The loss comes on the heels of the U.S. males dropping exhibitions in opposition to Nigeria and Australia this week.
The Opals’ victory got here hours after star heart Liz Cambage withdrew from the crew, citing psychological and bodily well being issues. She had been fearful in regards to the expertise on the Tokyo Games, with gamers remoted in a bubble-like atmosphere.
Cambage posted an announcement on social media late Thursday night time saying the prospect of getting no mates, no household, no followers and no help system outdoors the women’s basketball squad was “honestly terrifying.”
“It hasn’t been easy definitely,” mentioned Australia coach Sandy Brondello, who had by no means crushed the U.S. as a coach or participant. “It shows the character of this team. I wasn’t sure what the game would look like today.” Brondello mentioned the crew helps Cambage’s resolution.
“Mental health is a real issue. For now she’s not going to be with us, we’re focused on the future and not the past,” Brondello mentioned.
Even with out Cambage, the Australians put forth a stellar effort. The Opals have been down 13 on the half earlier than rallying in opposition to the No. 1 crew in the world that has a 49-game profitable streak in the Olympics.
Australia took a 59-58 benefit early in the fourth, its first lead for the reason that second quarter. The Opals elevated the result in 66-62 with 3:25 left earlier than the Americans tied it.
Australia led 25-24 early in the second quarter earlier than the U.S. closed the interval with a 17-3 run. Stewart had eight factors in the course of the spurt.
The Americans led 41-28 on the half earlier than Australia obtained again into the sport behind stable outdoors taking pictures to path 56-51 heading into the fourth quarter.
The U.S. will probably be attempting to win a seventh consecutive gold medal on the Tokyo Games.
The Americans have been lacking Diana Taurasi, who suffered a hip damage in apply a couple of weeks in the past and missed the ultimate three video games earlier than the Olympic break for the Phoenix Mercury. She was on a stationary bike warming up earlier than the sport.
The U.S. will face Nigeria in an exhibition on Sunday earlier than heading to Tokyo. The Americans additionally open pool play on the Olympics in opposition to Nigeria.
The recreation was alleged to be a part of a doubleheader in opposition to Australia, with the U.S. males going through the crew that beat them earlier in the week. The males’s recreation was canceled late Thursday due to well being and security protocols.
The cancellation got here hours after Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal was dominated out of the Olympics after being positioned in COVID-19 well being and security protocols. The crew additionally mentioned Detroit Pistons ahead Jerami Grant additionally was in the protocols “out of an abundance of caution.”