2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final

A’ja Wilson lands, leads U.S. into FIBA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals

A'ja Wilson FIBA World Cup
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SYDNEY — A’ja Wilson admitted she was tired.

The WNBA MVP had just gotten to Australia less than 24 hours ago, fresh off a championship and the U.S. was playing its toughest opponent of the World Cup.

After a slow start, Wilson was clutch in the fourth quarter, finishing with 20 points to help the U.S. beat China 77-63 on Saturday.

“I don’t know how I’m doing it,” Wilson said. “You just put things aside … It’s like riding a bike. I am exhausted, I’m not going to lie about it. At this point I don’t even think about it. I’m surrounded by greatness. I really lean on them. I don’t even know which way is up. I see it’s daylight and feel I need to go to sleep.”

The U.S. now has won 25 consecutive World Cup games since losing in the 2006 semifinals to Russia. The Americans advanced to the quarterfinals and are one away from matching their record 26-game run from 1998-2006.

These two teams came into the game unbeaten in the tournament. The U.S. (3-0) led 25-20 with 6:23 left in the first half before outscoring China 19-5 the rest of the second quarter, including the final 13 points. Alyssa Thomas and Breanna Stewart combined for seven of the 13 points during the game-changing burst.

Wilson closed the half with a putback that made it 44-25. She and Las Vegas teammates Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum were playing in their first game since getting to Australia on the last day. The trio were in Las Vegas celebrating the franchise’s first WNBA championship before arriving in Sydney.

MORE: FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

The U.S. led 56-40 with 2:18 left in the third before China scored the final seven points of the period to get within nine. The Aces trio scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to make it a 16-point game again.

“They put me in the best position to score the basketball,” Wilson said of her teammates finding her in the fourth quarter.

China though wouldn’t go away. Trailing 67-51, Li Meng scored four points in a 9-0 burst to get her team to 69-60 with 2 minutes left.

Wilson ended the drought with two free throws and a reverse layup to seal the win.

Li finished with 21 points to lead China (2-1).

China had cruised to wins in its first two games, routing both South Korea and Bosnia and Herzegovina by an average of 55 points. The Chinese team hadn’t faced a defense like the U.S. which had been solid in its first two games.

There was a big pro-Chinese crowd of roughly 9,400 fans for the game, including Hall of Famer Yao Ming, who is the chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association. He was shown on the video board and received a huge ovation from the crowd.

“The China fan base, whether it was the local fan base here or they came from abroad, was just tremendous,” U.S. coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Their support made a fun environment. I heard some USA people. This is what you want.”

HOSTILE CROWD

Plum went to the foul line at one point in the second half and the fans were booing her. She smirked at it and calmly sank both free throws.

“I heard the noise. I don’t think I’ve been booed in a long time,” Plum said laughing. “I don’t think Connecticut (fans) even booed me.”

STUDYING ABROAD

Plum and Gray both said they got Wi-Fi on the long flight to Australia to study the U.S. playbook.

“I kind of had a couple hours to look through it,” Plum said.

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Dwyane Wade honors Kobe Bryant at Redeem Team film screening

Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade
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Dwyane Wade said the new Redeem Team documentary on the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team “shines a light” on Kobe Bryant, whom Wade called the leader of the team that took gold.

“One of the things that for me that was very important was how we told Kobe Bryant’s story throughout this, in the midst of the team story,” Wade told the audience at a Hollywood film screening Thursday, before it premieres on Netflix on Oct. 7. “To me, that was a very sensitive moment at that time, but a beautiful arc, a beautiful story.”

Wade was part of the U.S. team that took bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the first time a U.S. team of NBA players lost in Olympic play. The Americans, with Wade, also took bronze at the 2006 World Championship.

Then Bryant joined the team for the 2008 Beijing Games and said he valued a gold medal over an NBA title.

“A lot of us know that we lost a couple of years, and our big brother had to come and save us – is probably what Kobe told everybody,” Wade joked to the audience Thursday. “But it was a beautiful journey.”

Wade and LeBron James, another Olympian in 2004 and 2008 (and 2012), are among the film’s executive producers.

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