The United States went undefeated to win its tenth title at the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. The victory also qualified the nation to the Olympics. The Women’s Basketball World Cup was held in San Cristobal de La Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain from September 23rd to September 30th 2018.
The 16 team tournament was divided into four groups with the winners advancing directly to the quarterfinals and the second and third place teams advancing to the qualification round where a single elimination tournament took place.
Group A came down to between Canada and France. After going down by 13 points at the end of the first quarter Canada was able to turn things around to win the game 71-60. Third place went to Greece whom with a strong third quarter defeated South Korea 58-48.
Nigeria was the surprise of Group B as they finished second with 74-68 and 75-70 victories over Turkey and Argentina respectively. The group was topped by Australia whom went undefeated while Turkey qualified in third with a smashing 63-37 victory over Argentina.
Belgium, Japan and Spain all finished 2-1 in Group C and had to go all the way to a goal differential between the three teams in order to break the tie. With a +7 difference Belgium finished first while Spain and Japan were second and third with +4 and -11 goal differences respectively.
The defending champions United States won Group D with a perfect performance while China finished second over Senegal with a 75-66 victory during the final group stage match.
The most exciting match in the qualification round was Nigeria vs. Greece where a massive fourth quarter comeback by Greece fell just short as Nigeria won 57-56 and became the first African nation to reach the quarterfinals of this tournament. Also advancing to the quarterfinals were Spain (63-48 against Senegal), China (87-81 against Japan) and France (78-61 against Turkey).
The quarterfinals saw three of the group winners: Australia (83-42 against China), Belgium (86-65 against France) and the United States (71-40 against Nigeria) advance to the next round. Canada however, lost the fourth quarter 21-3 to Spain, giving Spain the 68-53 victory.
A strong third quarter by the United States booked their spot to the final as they defeated Belgium 93-77. Similarly, a strong fourth quarter by Australia was needed to come back and win against Spain 72-66.
In the final the United States took the early lead, but Australia was able to keep it close enough until the third quarter where the United States removed all doubt as they would go on to win the World Cup and a spot to the Olympics, defeating Australia 73-56. Spain finished third as they defeated Belgium 67-60.
Overall this is the United States’ third world title in a row and 11th medal in a row. The nation is one of the most dominant in women’s basketball and will be looking to win its seventh gold medal in a row at the 2020 Olympics.
* United States