LAS VEGAS – A’ja Wilson scored 16 points and Breanna Stewart added 14 to help the United States beat Nigeria 93-62 on Sunday in the final pre-Olympic show tune-up for both teams .
The United States rebounded after losing back-to-back exhibition games for the first time since 2011 with losses to the WNBA All-Stars and Australia earlier this week.
The Americans got off to a good start, taking a 20-4 lead. After shooting 2 for 18 from behind the 3-point arc in the loss to Australia, the United States hit the ball inside early and often against Nigeria. The first 10 points came from A’ja Wilson and Brittney Griner.
The United States led 29-15 after a quarter while Stewart had 10 points. Griner took over in the second quarter to help the Americans extend their lead to 55-34 at halftime. Nigeria never raced in the second half against the United States, who missed Diana Taurasi for the third consecutive exhibition game as she recovers from a hip injury.
She said on Saturday that she would be ready for the Olympics.
Nigeria’s roster is still undetermined for the Olympics which start next week. The African nation was trying to get Nneka Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams to play for them. The two have filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a last ditch effort, said two people familiar with the situation.
The pair were told earlier this week by FIBA that their petition to play for the African nation had been turned down because they had been playing for the U.S. national program for too long. People spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.
The two WNBA players are expected to have FIBA’s decision overturned before the entry deadline for Sunday night’s Olympics or ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to grant them a provisional allowance and add them to list until a hearing can take place.
Williams played for Nigeria in the exhibition match while Ogwumike and her sister, Chiney, who was approved to play as a naturalized player for Nigeria, were on the bench, but not in uniform.
Nneka Ogwumike was not on the US Olympic list, which sparked the chain of events that led her to try and play for Nigeria where her parents are from and she and her sisters have the double. nationality.
Erica Ogwumike, the youngest of the four Ogwumike sisters, had five points for Nigeria. Atonye Nyingifa scored nine points to lead the team.
Nigeria are a growing team, reaching the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals before falling to the United States.
After a dismal performance behind the arc against Australia, the United States went 9 of 16 to 3.