As the USA Basketball women’s national team’s FIBA World Cup quarterfinal matchup with Nigeria went longer, the team gradually got stronger.
Overcoming early struggles, Team USA rode a burst of offense in the second half on its way to a 71-40 victory.
Early on, the proceedings appeared to be precarious for Team USA. D’Tigress led 17-9 after one quarter and the Stars and Stripes only shot two out of 16 from the field.
Eventually, Team USA began looking like the Team USA we all have come to know over the years. Its defense held Nigeria to a mere 23 points over the final 30 minutes of play.
Breanna Stewart scored 19 points in addition to five assists and A’ja Wilson poured in 11 as well along with six rebounds.
Speaking of the boards, Tina Charles pulled in 15 off the glass.
Ezinne Kalu and Evelyn Akhator each scored eight points and Sarah Imovbioh hauled in nine rebounds off the D’Tigress bench.
Later after the win over Nigeria, Team USA found out it will face Belgium in the semifinals after its win over France. This means the semis will be a contest that will feature Elena Delle Donne facing her Washington Mystics teammate Emma Meesseman.