Czech Republic - USA 61-88 Tina Charles (193-C-88, agency: LBM Management, college: Connecticut) is leading the way inside, to where the big girls play. With 6-foot-5 center Sylvia Fowles (198-C-85, college: LSU) resting a sore left foot, Charles has become the U.S. womens basketball teams leading rebounder in her first Olympics. She has always been an aggressive player, but now seems even more determined. And her U.S. teammates are following her lead. The Americans used a team effort to dominate the boards in an 88-61 victory over the Czech Republic on Friday. 'We did a good job offensive rebounding when we werent making shots', said center Candace Parker (193-C-86, college: Tennessee). Weve got to continue to do that. Especially since the U.S. might have a tougher time Sunday against China, which is led by 6-6 center Chen Nan. The Americans, however, have run past their opponents, winning by huge margins each time they step on the floor. So its difficult to find any real flaws in their performance. But like all coaches, Geno Auriemma has. Rebounding. And his team has responded. The 6-foot-4 Charles finished with a game-high 15 boards Friday and the U.S. outrebounded the Czechs 62-39, including 27 on the offensive end. Coach definitely put an emphasis of getting on the offensive boards, said Charles, who grabbed 15 rebounds and had 16 points. We got to keep doing that. Diana Taurasi (6'0''-SG-82, college: Connecticut) scored 18 points to lead the Americans (4-0), who have now won 37 straight games in the Olympics. The U.S. started slow but looked fresh after its first day off since getting together on July 14 to start training for the London Games. The Czechs jumped out to a quick lead scoring the first 10 points of the game in just two minutes. It was the Americans biggest deficit in the Olympics since they trailed the Czechs 13-2 in the opener of the 2008 Beijing Games. They went on to win that game by 40 points. We had a little bit of a tough time getting shots to go in and the Czech Republic team did a great job of hitting their threes, Maya Moore (183-SG-89, college: Connecticut) said of the Americans slow start. We just try to stay aggressive. Its about when the other team hits you, you gotta get back up and figure out a way to overcome it. And thats what we did. The Czech Republic also played the U.S. tight for a half in the 2010 world championship gold medal game, trailing by five at the break. The U.S. won that contest by 20. The Czechs led 26-24 after the first quarter after hitting six of their first 10 3-point attempts. They didnt hit another 3-pointer the rest of the game, missing their final 11 attempts. While the Czechs went cold, the Americans heated up behind Charles and Catchings. Trailing 30-26, the Americans scored 22 of the next 28 points to go up 48-36 with 2:18 left in the half. Catchings and Charles each had six points during the burst. Catchings layup off a fullcourt pass from Moore gave the U.S. a 31-30 lead. After a Czech basket, Charles scored six straight and the U.S. never trailed again. The Americans led 48-38 at the half and put the game away with a 20-3 run to start the second half. Taurasi hit two 3-pointers during the spurt. The Czechs couldnt get within 20 points of the U.S. the rest of the way. Throughout the whole game I think our defensive intensity picked up, Catchings said. The third quarter was probably one of the best third quarters weve had since weve been playing together. Now weve just got it going in the first half, start the game off that way. Michaela Zrustova (184-F-87) scored 15 points to lead the Czech Republic. Very tough game, said Eva Viteckova (6'3''-F-82), who finished with 12 points. Our main problems was the rebounding, they had 22 more rebounds than us (actually 23). They also have a very good fast break. Its always very difficult to play against the Americans, we know we can never be winners against them, they are so much better. But we started very well and maybe they were surprised by our performances. They can be beaten, if the other team has a very good day and they (the U.S.) has a very bad day. While the U.S. has already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals, the Czechs (1-2) still are trying to advance. They made a surprising run to the silver medal at the worlds, knocking off defending champion Australia in the quarterfinals before losing to the U.S. in the title game. The Czech Republic was definitely buoyed in that tournament by its home crowd that included President Vaclav Klaus for the championship game. The Americans will close out pool play Sunday against China, which was routed by Turkey 82-55. Also Friday, Australias Liz Cambage had the play of the day maybe of the Olympic womens basketball tournament when she dunked in the Aussies 70-66 win over Russia. Canada advanced to the quarterfinals with a 79-73 victory over Brazil. Croatia routed Angola 75-56; and France edged Britain 80-77 in overtime. Courtesy of www.washingtonpost.com
Turkey - China 82-55 Nevriye Yilmaz (194-C-80) scored 16 points to help Turkey advance to the quarterfinals of the womens Olympic basketball tournament with an 82-55 victory over China on Friday. Isil Alben (170-G-86) nailed two 3-pointers and Turkey ended the first quarter with a 12-0 run to take a 26-13 lead. Turkey stretched its lead to 19 but then could not score for nearly seven minutes before Birsel Vardari hit a 3-pointer, but the Turks still led 39-27 at halftime. But China, which has already qualified for the quarterfinals, could not mount a serious second-half challenge and fell to 3-1 in the tournament. American-born Quanitra Hollingsworth (196-C-88, college: VCU) added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Turkey (3-1). Chen Nan had 19 points for China. Courtesy of www.washingtonpost.com
Angola - Croatia 56-75 Croatia registered its first win ever at the Olympic Games. They outplayed Angola 75-56 for 1-2 record in Group A. The win kept alive Croatia's chances to advance to the quarterfinals. At the other side, Angola faced with third straight loss with no chance to advance. Ana Lelas (183-G/F-83) was a key player in victory with 23 points and 6 rebounds. She made 5 of 7 attempts from behind the arc. Sandra Mandir had 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while Marija Vrsaljko (198-C-89) helped with 10 points, plus 8 boards. In defeat, Luisa Tomas (192-C-83) responded with 15 points and 8 rebs. Nadir Manuel and Nassecela Mauricio (8 rebs) netted 14 and 12 points respectively. Croatia was up by 9 at the halftime and after that made crucial 12-0 run at the beginning of third quarter. Angola could only get within 13 the rest of the way. It is important to mention that African countries won only one of their 27 games in the Olympics since Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) first qualified in the 1996 Atlanta Games. The tournament continues on Sunday, when Croatia will meet Turkey. Angola's next rival is Czech Republic.
France - United Kingdom 80-77 OT Celine Dumerc (169-G-82) hit a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in overtime to give France an 80-77 victory over Britain and deny the hosts their first victory in women's Olympic basketball. Dumerc, who finished with 14 points, also sent the game into overtime by hitting a 3-pointer with 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation. Julie Page (188-PF-83, college: E.Washington) made one of two free throws to tie the game at 77-77 in OT with 10 seconds on the clock setting up a potential second overtime period. But Dumerc was able to create some space, shaking off two defenders, to hit the game-winner. Sandrine Gruda (193-C-87) and Edwige Lawson-Wade (166-PG-79) led France with 16 points each, while Johannah Leedham (180-SF-87, college: Franklin Pierce) had 29 for Britain (0-4). France is unbeaten in four games and has qualified for the quarterfinals. Courtesy of http://summergames.ap.org
Brazil - Canada 73-79 It will go down as the most significant Canadian women's basketball victory in decades. With a 79-73 triumph over Brazil Friday morning, Canada has qualified for the Olympic Games quarter-finals for the first time ever. After seeing a 14-point disappear during a dreadful third quarter, Canada got things under control in a nervous fourth to improve its record to 2-2, and is guaranteed a berth in the elimination quarter-finals. Canada still faces Australia to finish the preliminary round and wont know for sure who theyll play in the quarter-finals until Sunday. The most likely scenario is a date with the powerful United States. Canada looked to be in control, building a 14-point lead early in the third quarter before a series of turnovers caused by a Brazil press turned the game. Brazil took its first lead early in the fourth before Canada settled down. Courtnay Pilypaitis (184-G-88, college: Vermont) of Ottawa and Hamiltons Shona Thorburn (178-G-82, college: Utah) hit back-to-back three-pointers with about five minutes to go to give Canada a seven-point lead it nursed home. Pilypaitis and Kimberley Smith (186-F-84, college: Utah) of Mission, B.C., had 14 points each for Canada. Courtesy of www.thestar.com
Russia - Australia 66-70 Cambage Elizabeth (203-C-91) made the play of the day - maybe of the Olympic women's basketball tournament. The 6-foot-8 Australian dunked. FIBA couldn't confirm if the 20-year Cambage was the first woman to dunk in an Olympic game. But she and her teammates knew she had done something special Friday in Australia's 70-66 victory over Russia. "That's the first time I've seen it in the Olympics,'' said Australia forward Lauren Jackson (196-F/C-81), playing in her fourth Olympics. "Even in the WNBA, you see some girls do it, on a fast break but she had the zone around her, she had people around her. She made it look so easy. "I wish I could do that.'' Cambage caught the ball at the top of the lane from teammate Kristi Harrower with 6:14 left in the third quarter, took one dribble drove to the basket for the one-handed dunk. Cambage said she never has dunked before in a game and rarely tries to in practice. Still, she was happy to provide what's sure to be a highlight of the tournament. "It's good to finally do it and get everyone off my back about it,'' she said. "I was wide open and I felt it and just did it. It was an out of body experience. I wasn't thinking about it.'' Australian coach Carrie Graf has encouraged her young star to dunk in warmups to gain more confidence. She was proud to see her do it in the flow of the game. "To have someone dunk at the Olympics, and a rising star of the women's world game is huge,'' Graf said. "It's one of the many things that will continue to put women's basketball on the map as a global game. That's what it does. "It's a historic, iconic moment in women's sport.'' The dunk in the middle of a 12-0 run that gave Australia (3-1) a 44-33 lead - its biggest of the game. Russia (3-1) battled back to close within 61-58 with 4:22 left in the game on Becky Hammon's 3-pointer. Australia responded extending its lead back up to 68-62 on Jenna O'Hea's 3-pointer with 1:27 left. Hammon's basket with 50 seconds left made it 68-66 before Cambage hit two free throws to seal the victory. Cambage finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Australia. But it was her dunk that was the highlight of the game. "Cambage posterizing people is good for women's basketball,'' Hammon said. "Making plays like that, memorable moments, people aren't going to remember who won or lost that game. "They'll remember that dunk.'' Because it didn't happen on a breakaway and Cambage did it with such ease, there was not much reaction from the crowd. But the Australian bench erupted after the play and Cambage had a big smile as she ran back on defense. "I never do it, but everyone wants me to do it, it's the one thing I'm really shy about,'' Cambage said. "I'm usually not shy about anything but when it comes to dunking I'm a bit shy.'' Cambage was the second pick by the Tulsa Shock in the 2011 WNBA draft. She missed the first part of the WNBA season to train with Australia. Australia held a 32-30 halftime advantage despite going without a basket for the final 5:18 of the second quarter. The Aussies led 30-23 after Batkovic's three-point play before Russia scored seven straight to tie it at 30. Batkovic, who scored the final seven points of the half for the Aussie, hit two free throws with 3 seconds left to cap the scoring. Irina Osipova (196-C-81) scored 15 points for Russia, which closes out its pool play on Sunday against France; Australia faces Canada. "it's a very big - a massive win - every win is a good win,'' Cambage said. "If we drop another game we could end up third or fourth. I got my fingers crossed that Russia will beat France.'' Courtesy of http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com
South Carolina's Dawn Staley to be named head coach of U.S. women's Olympic team - 13 days ago
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After winning three gold medals as a player and working as an assistant coach on teams that have collected two more, Dawn Staley will have the chance to lead the United States women's basketball squad at the Olympics. USA Basketball has called a news conference for Friday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium, and sources indicate that Staley, head coach at South Carolina, will be named women's national team head coach for the next Olympic cycle leading up to the 2020 games in Tokyo. Accord... [read more]
After winning three gold medals as a player and working as an assistant coach on teams that have collected two more, Dawn Staley will have the chance to lead the United States women's basketball squad at the Olympics. USA Basketball has called a news conference for Friday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium, and sources indicate that Staley, head coach at South Carolina, will be named women's national team head coach for the next Olympic cycle leading up to the 2020 games in Tokyo. According to USA Basketball, the news conference will be to announce the head coach who will lead the U.S. women's national team in the 2018 FIBA World Cup of Basketball, if necessary the 2019 Olympic qualifying tournament, and the 2020 Olympics. The United States is the juggernaut of Olympic women's basketball, winning its sixth consecutive gold medal last year in Rio de Janeiro. The U.S. women have won 49 straight games in Olympic play, and are 66-3 since beginning play in 1976. Staley will succeed Geno Auriemma, the head coach at Connecticut, who has overseen the U.S. women's teams for the past two Olympic games. Staley was an assistant to Auriemma at last year's games, the second time she has worked in that role. She was also an assistant to Anne Donovan on the gold-winning team at Beijing in 2008. Staley has long been a mainstay for USA Basketball. She played on U.S. Olympic teams that won gold in 1996, 2000 and 2004, and the U.S. flag bearer at the opening ceremonies at her final games in Sydney. As a head coach, Staley has led U.S. women's teams to gold medals three times: at the 2007 Pan-American Games, the 2014 under-18 FIBA Americas Championship, and most recently the 2015 under-19 FIBA World Championships in Russia. At USC, Staley has led the Gamecocks to unprecedented heights in women's basketball, and enjoyed a run of success second in SEC history only to the glory days of Tennessee under former head coach Pat Summitt. South Carolina this season won its fourth straight SEC regular-season title, and third straight SEC Tournament crown. In 2015, Staley led USC to the women's Final Four for the first time in program history. The Gamecocks (27-4), ranked No. 4 in this week's AP poll, are expected to be a No. 1 regional seed for the fourth straight year when the NCAA Tournament field is unveiled Monday. Courtesy of: postandcourier.com
Rio 2016: USA fire past Spain to clinch sixth straight title - 7 months ago
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USA - Spain 101:72 Team USA earned the sixth straight Olympic Gold. They rallied past Spain in the championship game tonight. Lindsay Whalen (175-PG-82, college: Minnesota) and Diana Taurasi (182-SG-82, college: Connecticut) scored 17 points each for the winners. The teams stayed close throughout the opening quarter. Team USA grabbed a 21:17 lead after ten minutes of action. The North American side unloaded 28 points in the second term to gain a 17-point halftime advantage. They stretch... [read more]
USA - Spain 101:72
Team USA earned the sixth straight Olympic Gold. They rallied past Spain in the championship game tonight. Lindsay Whalen (175-PG-82, college: Minnesota) and Diana Taurasi (182-SG-82, college: Connecticut) scored 17 points each for the winners. The teams stayed close throughout the opening quarter. Team USA grabbed a 21:17 lead after ten minutes of action. The North American side unloaded 28 points in the second term to gain a 17-point halftime advantage. They stretched the margin in the third term. Team USA reeled off to a massive 32-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Spain sank 23 points in the fourth term to cut the deficit at the end. Maya Moore (183-SG-89, college: Connecticut) provided 14 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in the victory. Alba Torrens (188-F-89) responded with 18 points for Spain. Marta Xargay Casademont (181-PG-90) chipped in 12 points in the losing effort.
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