US holds off Colombia in World Cup qualifying, France wins

Nov 14, 2022, 4:48 AM | Updated: 9:00 pm
FILE - Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen calls out to his team during the first half of an NBA ba...

FILE - Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen calls out to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 31, 2020, in New York. Boylen and USA Basketball can clinch a spot in the 2023 World Cup by beating Brazil in a qualifying game on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

USA Basketball’s magic number for clinching a World Cup berth is down to one.

Langston Galloway and David Stockton each scored 23 points, and moved the Americans to the brink of earning a spot in next year’s World Cup with an 88-81 win over Colombia on Monday night.

The Americans improved to 8-2 in qualifying, with two games left — those coming in February, both on the road. There are multiple ways the U.S. can clinch its spot in the 32-team World Cup field, the simplest of them being a win against either Uruguay on Feb. 23 or Brazil on Feb. 26.

“This is really about the character of your guys,” U.S. coach Jim Boylen said. “And we’ve got a high-character group, guys that care.”

The World Cup will be held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia next summer. There was a scenario in which the U.S. could have clinched Monday night, if Brazil had lost to Mexico. Brazil won 102-56.

Instead, the Americans now have to wait until February. The only way they wouldn’t qualify for the World Cup — the primary way teams will earn a spot into the 2024 Paris Olympics — is by losing both February games, plus have at least four outcomes of other games not go their way, and then they’d have to lose a series of tiebreakers on top of all that.

The situation would have been dire if Colombia had pulled off the upset. It gave the U.S. a bit of a scare, closing within seven early in the fourth quarter and missing a shot that would have cut the deficit to five.

That’s when Galloway took over.

He scored the next 10 points for the U.S., a pair of 3-pointers coming in that run, to answer every challenge from Colombia. Stockton made a 3-pointer with 4:09 left for an 80-67 lead, and the Americans would escape.

“I didn’t want to let my team lose,” Galloway said. “I didn’t want to let everybody down. I knew it was important, wearing this USA on the front my chest and wearing my name on the back.”

It was fitting that Galloway and Stockton took over down the stretch. The U.S. has used more than 40 different players during the 10 qualifying games, changing the roster with every two-game window, with Galloway and Stockton the veterans who have been in most of the games in this cycle.

Michaell Jackson scored 25 for Colombia, and Romario Roque added 24.


Victor Wembanyama may very well be on his way the World Cup next summer.

The 18-year-old French standout — the presumed No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft — put on a show Monday, as France clinched its berth in the World Cup field with a 92-56 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Wembanyama had 19 points in just over 24 minutes.

“The NBA will be a whole new world, but I want to be at the World Cup in 2023,” Wembanyama said Monday.

France was among six teams that qualified for the World Cup on Monday. The others: defending champion Spain, Greece, Lithuania, Slovenia and Italy.


So far, 17 of the 32 spots in the field have been clinched. The last 15 will be secured in February.

Americas Region: Canada has clinched a berth. There are six remaining for FIBA Americas teams, with eight nations — the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Panama — still in the mix for those spots. Colombia, the Bahamas and Panama have been eliminated.

Europe Region: Latvia, Greece, Germany, Finland, Slovenia, France, Lithuania, Spain and Italy are in. That leaves three spots out of the 12 allocated to Europe; Serbia, Georgia and Montenegro currently have the best chance at claiming those. Other teams still in the mix are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Hungary, Iceland — and Ukraine, which stayed alive with a 79-72 win over Iceland on Monday. Turkey, Great Britain, Sweden, Israel, Estonia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands have been eliminated.

Africa Region: Ivory Coast is in, and that leaves four spots. Angola, South Sudan, Egypt and Cape Verde are in the best positions to clinch; Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Congo and Guinea are still in the mix as well. Uganda and Cameroon have been eliminated.

Asia-Oceania Region: Lebanon, New Zealand, Australia and China have qualified. Japan and the Philippines have also qualified, as tournament hosts. That leaves two spots for Iran, Kazakhstan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Bahrain and India have been eliminated.


AP sports: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after his team won the World Cup group C soccer match between A...
Associated Press

Messi gets in trouble with Mexican boxer Canelo at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — In one corner, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez. In the other, Lionel Messi. The Argentina star may have gotten into trouble with the wrong person after moving the Mexican national team jersey with his foot while celebrating his team’s much-needed World Cup win against Mexico on Saturday. The Mexican boxer said on Twitter […]
1 day ago
Cameroon's Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, left, scores his side's third goal during the World Cup group ...
Associated Press

Aboubakar saves Cameroon in 3-3 tie with Serbia at World Cup

AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — Substitute Vincent Aboubakar scored one goal and created another as Cameroon rallied from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Serbia at the World Cup on Monday. He lobbed goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the 64th minute and then set up striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting two minutes later. The thrilling draw was […]
1 day ago
Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug celebrates after he scored his side's first goal during the World Cup gr...
Associated Press

‘Super guy’ Füllkrug drives Germany forward at World Cup

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Niclas Füllkrug was scoring goals in Germany’s second division one year ago. Now he’s scoring at the World Cup. “That’s exactly what he’s there for,” teammate Thomas Müller said after Füllkrug’s late goal rescued a 1-1 draw for Germany against Spain in Group E on Sunday. Exactly one year earlier, […]
1 day ago
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup grou...
Associated Press

Argentina-Mexico World Cup Spanish TV gets 8.9M US viewers

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Argentina’s 2-0 win over Mexico was the most-watched Spanish-language World Cup group stage broadcast in U.S. history, drawing 8.9 million viewers on Telemundo television and the streaming services of Telemundo and Peacock. The game, which started at 2 p.m. EST Saturday, topped the previous group stage mark of 5.7 million set […]
1 day ago
People take selfies while riding camels in Mesaieed, Qatar, Nov. 26, 2022. Throngs of World Cup fan...
Associated Press

World Cup frenzy puts strain on Qatar’s camels

MESAIEED, Qatar (AP) — Shaheen stretched out on the sand and closed his eyes, but there was little time to rest for the camel. World Cup fans coming in droves to the desert outside Doha were ready for their perfect Instagram moment: riding a camel on the rolling dunes. As Qatar welcomes more than a […]
1 day ago
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles, left, talks with line judge Mark Stewart during the second ...
Associated Press

Analysis: Aggressive coaching paid off Sunday in NFL

With the ball in Tom Brady’s hands, Todd Bowles played it safe and lost. Doug Pederson and Brandon Staley went for broke and celebrated wins. Aggressive coaching paid off Sunday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 23-17 at Cleveland in overtime in a game that Brady had a chance to win in regulation with another one […]
1 day ago
US holds off Colombia in World Cup qualifying, France wins