By R.L. Bynum
Carolina junior star Alyssa Ustby and the United States U23 three-on-three team split two games Wednesday to advance in the FIBA 3×3 U23 Women’s Nations League Final in Constanta, Romania.
The Americans moved out of the group stage and beat Lithuania 22–11 in a quarterfinal game Friday morning (Eastern time). The U.S. lost to France, however, 21–13 in Friday’s semifinals.
Ustby scored nearly half of the U.S. team’s points in its heartbreaking 18–17 overtime loss to France in the opening game Wednesday, with eight points and two rebounds. Notre Dame’s Madeline Westbeld had five points and five rebounds for the Americans.
The Americans used an 8–1 run to take a 15–12 lead with 42 seconds left, but a 4–1 French run forced overtime. France won by scoring on consecutive possessions.
Needing a victory in the second game against host Romania to advance, the Americans rolled to a 20–10 victory in a venue packed with fans cheering for the host team. Ustby had three points and three rebounds in that game.
The United States jumped to a 12–4 lead in the game, led by Texas’ Aaliah Moore’s five points and six rebounds.
Three-on-three is played on a half-court with a 10-minute game clock and a 12-second shot clock. Play is continuous, as teams “clear” the ball behind the two-point line following a made basket, defensive rebound or steal. The first team to score 21 points via one-pointer field goals or two-pointers behind the arc is victorious, or if time expires, the team leading wins.
Read about the humble beginnings of the Carolina women’s basketball programs, from coaches driving teams to games to playing and practicing in a dangerously gym, the program has come a long way. Learn interesting stories about the program in this Tar Heel Tribune story.
Photos courtesy of FIBA