The first semifinal for women’s basketball in the 2012 Olympics is set. After defeating their opponents in the quarterfinals, Australia and the U.S. will face each other Thursday at noon EDT.
Overall, the Opals are 5-1 in the competition with a preliminary round 74-70 loss to France last Monday. The U.S. is undefeated at 6-0 and began the day with a 91-48 rout of Canada.
The U.S. got off to a quick start and led 42-21 at the half.
Five players scored in double figures led by Diana Taurasi with 15 points and four assists followed by Candace Parker with 12 points and seven rebounds. Sylvia Fowles contributed 12 points plus four rebounds. Maya Moore scored 11 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out four assists. Angel McCoughtry had 11 points and five rebounds.
Kim Smith led Canada with 13 points and six rebounds. Chelsea Aubry added 10 points.
For Australia, things were not so smooth. They had a back-and-forth battle with China for much of the game and did not pull away until the fourth quarter. The Opals trailed by one at the half, 36-35.
Liz Cambage led her team with 17 points and seven rebounds. Lauren Jackson added 12 points and four rebounds. Suzy Batkovic scored 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
Zengyu Ma led China with 15 points and five rebounds while Lijie Miao had 13 points.
In the remaining quarterfinal games Becky Hammon’s 19 points helped Russia topple Turkey, 66-63, and undefeated France took down the Czech Republic, 71-68. Celine Dumerc led France with 23 points, four rebounds and six assists.
Russia is 5-1 while France is 6-0. They will play in the second game of the semifinals on Thursday.
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