U.S. into semifinals after trailing, triple-double watch | FIBA Basketball World Cup Betting Update

U.S. into semifinals after trailing, triple-double watch FIBA Basketball World Cup Betting Update

A physical Serbia team put Alyssa Thomas and her United States teammates to the test for the first time in the World Cup.

After a slow start, the Americans used a dominant half-hour run to take control of the game and advance to the semifinals for the second time.

On Thursday, Thomas had 13 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists to help the United States defeat Serbia 88-55 in the women’s World Cup quarterfinals.

“I think you expect every team’s best punch in the first quarter,” Thomas said. “We just had to settle into the game, and once we did, we were really able to break away.”

The Americans (6-0) advanced to the semifinals after Kelsey Plum scored 17 points and A’ja Wilson added 15.

“They played super physical, more physical than we’ve seen all tournament,” Plum said. “They deserve credit. I felt that their pressure bothered us at first, but we were able to get it under control.”

MORE: FIBA World Cup Schedule and Results

The Americans had breezed through pool play, winning by 46.2 points per game and facing no opposition. Serbia (3-2) was unfazed, charging straight at the Americans. The Serbians scored the game’s first basket, giving the Americans their first loss of the tournament.

For the first 17 minutes, it was back and forth, with neither team making a significant run. Then, with 2:59 left in the half and the US leading by five, Kahleah Copper drove to the basket and was fouled. She landed hard on her hip and had to be helped off the court by US training staff. Copper, who had been a sparkplug for the US in her first tournament, did not return.

“It’s too early to tell,” Reeve said of Copper’s injury. “We’re getting her some imaging, and we’ll have more information later.”

Plum came in for Cooper and hit two free throws to start a 12-0 run to end the half, with the Americans leading 50-33 at the break. Thomas had 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals in the first 20 minutes.

The US extended its run to 20 straight points in the third quarter before Serbia finally broke the drought with a 3-pointer by Yvonne Anderson. This cut the deficit to 22 points. Serbia didn’t get much closer after that.

Anderson led Serbia with 14 points.

Betnijah Laney was knocked down early in the fourth quarter on a put-back. She left the game and sat on the bench for the rest of it.

“She took a hard fall,” Reeve explained. “She was in the locker room afterwards, and I think a little more of it took the wind out of her.”

The victory was the Americans’ 28th in a row in World Cup play, dating back to the 2006 semifinals against Russia. From 1959 to 1986, the Soviet Union held the World Cup record with 56 consecutive victories.

After going unbeaten in pool play once more, the United States advanced to the semifinals for the 12th time in a row, dating back to 1975. That year concluded a cycle in which the Americans had lost 14 games in four tournaments. They’ve only lost five games since.


Even without Brittney Griner, the United States dominated the paint, outscoring opponents by an average of 60.8-24.4 in pool play. Serbia led 20-16 at halftime and outscored the Americans 28-26 in the game by constantly having two or three players inside to clog up the middle.

“It’s one of those things you have to live with,” Wilson said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to reclaim control of the paint in the next couple of games.” Serbia did an excellent job of securing the area.


Thomas, who had a triple-double in each of the last two WNBA Finals games, fell just short of becoming the first person to do so at the World Cup since Erika Dobrovicova in 1994 for the Slovak Republic against Spain. Prior to 1994, assists and rebounds were not recorded. Thomas had 14 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds in the opener against Belgium.


According to the team, Jewell Loyd returned to the United States starting lineup a game after resting. She had eight points.

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