So far during the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, only one team has challenged the United States.
When China clashed with Team USA during group play on Sept. 23, they kept the score closer than any other team, losing 77-63 to a U.S. squad that has defeated its opponents by an average of 39.9 points heading into the gold-medal game.
China has been dominant in its own right, beating all of its opponents, including host Australia in the semifinals.
The two sides will meet at 2 a.m. ET Saturday morning to battle for the world championship, with plenty of star power leading each team. The game will air on ESPN and stream live on ESPN+.
Here are the most dominant Chinese and American players so far.
The WNBA regular-season MVP and Defensive Player of the Year has continued her commanding play after leading the Las Vegas Aces to their first WNBA title.
Just 18 hours after getting off her plane in Sydney, Wilson dropped 20 points against China, and she hasn’t let up since. Wilson has averaged 16.8 points and 8 rebounds per game over her five appearances. In the semifinals, she helped Team USA blow past Canada with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Wilson is also perfect from the free-throw line, making all 18 of her attempts, and is shooting an efficient 70.2% from the field.
We'll have it A'ja's way. And so will she. The @WNBA MVP @_ajawilson22 continues her hot streak in pursuit of her second #FIBAWWC gold medal.— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) September 29, 2022
We'll have it A'ja's way. And so will she. The @WNBA MVP @_ajawilson22 continues her hot streak in pursuit of her second #FIBAWWC gold medal.
Another Aces player making her mark at the international level, Plum is averaging 15.6 points and 4.4 assists per game through five games in a USA uniform.
Like Wilson, she’s been efficient in scoring, shooting 62.5% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc and 90% from the free-throw line. Plum has also been near a double-double twice, with 19 points and 9 assists against Korea and then 20 points and 7 assists in a matchup with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In case we needed any more evidence as to why she’s about to be the most sought-after WNBA free agent this offseason, Stewart continues to turn in impressive international performances.
She’s averaging 13.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game, doing a little bit of everything for Team USA.
Stewart opened FIBA play by leading her squad past Belgium with 22 points and 4 rebounds. In the semifinal contest with Canada, she had 17 points and 8 rebounds, as well as 3 blocked shots on defense.
Stewie was on fire from outside as Team USA booked another appearance in the World Cup Final 🔥#FIBAWWC x @TCL_Global pic.twitter.com/J9xopoAv2i— FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWWC) September 30, 2022
Stewie was on fire from outside as Team USA booked another appearance in the World Cup Final 🔥#FIBAWWC x @TCL_Global pic.twitter.com/J9xopoAv2i
Despite having two WNBA players on the roster, Li has stolen the show for China. The 27-year-old, who plays her professional basketball for the Shenyang Army Golden Lions, is leading her team with 16 points per game.
When China faced the U.S. in the group stage, Li played 32 minutes and scored 21 points. She went 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Li also helped her team get by France in the quarterfinals with 23 points.
Throughout the World Cup, Li has continued her hot shooting from 3-point range, making 40.7% of her attempts.
A name that Liberty fans know well, Han played perhaps her best game of the tournament in the semifinals against Australia.
She had 19 points, 11 rebounds for a double-double, and added in 5 blocked shots on the defensive end. Han also shot 80% from the field (8-10) and made all three of her free-throw attempts. Her monster performance was especially crucial for China as Li Meng did not play due to a reported illness.
Over her seven games for China, Han has averaged 13 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocked shots.
Xu Han played the game of her life to guide China to the World Cup Final 🌟🇨🇳#FIBAWWC x @TCL_Global pic.twitter.com/5fJrMEAhho— FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWWC) September 30, 2022
Xu Han played the game of her life to guide China to the World Cup Final 🌟🇨🇳#FIBAWWC x @TCL_Global pic.twitter.com/5fJrMEAhho
Though she didn’t get many minutes for the Sky this season, Li is another player with WNBA experience. On the national stage, however, she is playing 17.7 minutes per game for China and making significant contributions.
The 24-year-old is averaging 8.9 points, 7 rebounds and 1.4 assists, while also using her 6-foot-7 frame to make an impact in the paint. Her two best games came in the group stage, when she recorded 13 points and 9 rebounds against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 16 points and 8 rebounds against Puerto Rico.