Team USA is in the early stages of its preparations for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in February and the 2020 Summer Olympics, and the team's rust showed on Monday night against UConn.
The Huskies gave Team USA all they could handle, though eventually, the Olympic favorites pulled away in the fourth quarter, winning 79-64 behind 19 points from Sylvia Fowles. UConn's Megan Walker led all scorers with 22 points.
That result was in question early, however, as the game went into halftime tied at 31 apiece.
It would be unwise to draw too many conclusions from the close call, however. Team USA's players had one practice together ahead of Monday's exhibition, while UConn is in the middle of its season and is 19-1 on the year.
Team USA led 22-11 after the first quarter but UConn came storming back, rattling off a 17-2 run in the second quarter to take the lead.
Things stayed tight until the fourth quarter, when Team USA's talent and experience helped them pull away from the Huskies, ending the game on a 25-8 run.
"This was similar in the first half to what Oregon felt like in the second half. I felt like we responded better," Sue Bird said after the win, per NBC Sports Northwest. "We didn't get shell-shocked, we didn't let the crowd affect us. We took the hit and hit right back."
The night also took on a somber tone following the deaths of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Sarah and Payton Chester, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Bryant was an advocate for the women's game, and his daughter, Gianna, was a huge UConn fan who had dreamed of one day playing for the school. Both Bryants were honored before the contest.
Team USA next faces the University of Louisville at 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 2, while UConn is back in action on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.