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Wilson, Stewart post double-doubles as USA women surge past Japan

Wilson, Stewart post double-doubles as USA women surge past Japan
Posted at 9:55 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 03:08:36-04

Make it 51.

Team USA women's basketball built on its 50-match Olympic win streak on Friday, coming back from a first-quarter deficit to beat host Japan 86-69.

Japan scored 30 points in the first half but just 39 the rest of the way as the U.S. put its defensive house in order to move to 2-0 on the tournament.

Breanna Stewart and A'Ja Wilson both had double-doubles in the win, Wilson making it consecutive games with double-digit rebounds and points in the tournament by scoring 20 and grabbing 10 boards.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Wilson told NBC's Corey Robinson after the game. "Japan gave us a good run. All of us bigs had to guards the guards so it kinda challenged us in our way but we went to our strengths and we got the dub."

Stewart had 15 and 13, adding two blocks and a team-high six assists, though Rui Machida nearly doubled that assist total with a game-high 11 to go with nine points.

Saki Hayashi led Japan with 12 points, while Monica Okoye chipped in 11 in the loss. 

Japan falls to 1-1 after beating France in its opener.

USA hits the glass as Stewart inspires second-quarter surge

Twenty-eight points in a quarter is pretty solid, but it wasn't enough to have Team USA ahead of hosts Japan after 10 minutes on Friday.

Saori Miyazaki's three from a few feet atop the key dropped with seven seconds left in the opening frame and gave Japan an eyebrow-raising 30-28 advantage after the first quarter.

Japan joined the U.S. in a hot-shooting opening frame, the Americans shooting 58 percent to Japan's 60.

The hosts' shooting cooled off considerably in the second quarter and the Americans took advantage, shooting even better and driving the ball inside for easier looks at the basket.

The U.S. finished 15-of-21 from inside the arc through 20 minutes and held a 23-16 advantage in rebounds at the break. Breanna Stewart rebounded well, pun intended, from a rough shooting day in the tournament opener to pick up nine points and seven boards by halftime.

Japan was rejuvenated by halftime and used a 9-1 run to pull within five points before A'Ja Wilson drove to the hoop for a layup with just under four-and-a-half minutes to play.

Wilson was phenomenal in the late stages, finishing with 18 points, six rebounds, and two blocks.

But Stewart was the story of the game, posting a double-double to go with five assists.