USA Basketball dismantles Italy to advance to FIBA World Cup semifinals

After suffering its first loss in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Sunday, USA Basketball responded with a dominating performance to continue its quest for the gold medal.

Mikal Bridges produced 24 points and seven rebounds and Tyrese Haliburton recorded 18 points, five assists and four rebounds to lead the United States to a 100-63 victory over Italy on Tuesday and advance to the semifinals. Austin Reaves added 12 points and four rebounds, and Paolo Banchero chipped in eight points and five rebounds.

From the opening quarter, Team USA (5-1) looked to play as the favorites to win the tournament. The group led by as many as 41 points and trailed for less than two minutes in the quarterfinal matchup. It held Italy to 30.7% shooting from the field, including 18.4% from 3-point range, and outrebounded the opposition, 51-33.

The U.S. bounced back from an upset loss against Lithuania its last time out, 110-104. The Americans were a 15.5-point favorite to win that contest but struggled from the tip and trailed, 31-12, after the first period. It made a run in the second half to get the deficit down to single digits but was unable to get much closer.

Despite the loss to Lithuania, Team USA clinched a berth in the 2024 Olympic Games as one of the top two countries in the Americas region (Canada) following losses by Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The U.S. is one of five countries to claim a berth in the Olympics thus far from the World Cup.

With the victory, the U.S. will advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2014 when it last won the tournament. The group will face the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between Germany (5-0) and Latvia (4-1) on Friday (8:40 a.m. EDT, ESPN2).

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire