Group B and C made their debuts at the Olympics. There were two upsets on day two, the French were upset by the Japanese while the Australians lost to the Belgians. The American women beat Nigeria and China handedly beat Puerto Rico.
Japan 74 – France 70
The fifth ranked team in France looked to beat the host nation and stay level with the Americans in group play. The Japanese decided to put a wrench in those plans. The French took an early lead in the first quarter with a tight 17-13 lead. They continued their lead going into the half with a tight two point lead. In the third and fourth quarter, it was all the Japanese. They took the lead early in the third quarter but they relinquished the lead late in the fourth quarter. But a foul by Gabby Williams of France and Maki Takada capitalizing on her free three allowed the Japanese to keep the lead in the game. Both teams will look forward to their next games on July 30.
United States 81- Nigeria 72
The 5-time reigning Olympic champions the United States began their quest for a sixth straight gold medal on Tuesday. They took on the 15th ranked Nigerian team. Nigeria took a quick lead in the first quarter out scoring the Americans 20-17. The Americans took the lead in the middle of the second quarter and never relinquished it. The first time Olympian A’ja Wilson led the Americans with 19 points, 13 rebounds and one assist. Sue Bird registered her 100th assist at the Olympic Games. The Americans lead the group alongside the host nation Japan.
Belgium 85- Australia 70
The second ranked Australians are without their superstar Liz Cambage who withdrew herself from the Olympic games. She made the decision due to her mental health and the circumstances of athlete isolation at these games. She was terrified that not having any support group outside of her teammates would worsen her mental health. The Australian had a big challenge on their hands to compete in these games without their best player. It was a difficult start for them in the end. They lost their opening game to the Belgians. The Belgians took the first quarter but the Australians bounced back taking the lead at the end of the second quarter. They continued their lead all the way through the early stages of the fourth quarter but the Belgians took over and never looked back. The Belgians were led by a game-high 32 points by Emma Meesseman.
China 97- Puerto Rico 55
China took a victory in the first game of their Olympic tournament in a rout of Puerto Rico. The Chinese outscored the 23rd ranked Puerto Ricans in each quarter, increasing as each quarter passed. Yueru Li led the Chinese with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 5 points. The Chinese lead their group with the Belgians. Both teams will play their remaining group members on July 30.