USA - France 86-50 France coach Pierre Vincent said his women's basketball team was carried by magic forces into the gold medal game. To beat the USA on Saturday, France needed more than magic, much more. The U.S. captured its fifth consecutive gold medal with an 86-50 victory against France, extending its Olympic winning streak to 41 games. The last Olympics loss came in the 1992 Barcelona Games. The U.S. is now 58-3 since women's basketball was added to the Olympics program in 1976, an amazing run of dominance. That includes seven gold medals. The U.S. started slow against France, caught up a frenzied pace that yielded turnovers and sloppy play. But in the second quarter, the USA settled into its game, led by Candace Parker (193-C-86, college: Tennessee) who had 15 of game-high 21 points and nine of her 11 game-high rebounds in the first half. Sue Bird (175-PG-80, college: Connecticut) added 11 points and three assists. Diana Taurasi (183-SG-82, college: Connecticut) had nine points and six assists, and Maya Moore (183-SG-89, college: Connecticut) had six points and seven rebounds for the USA. All 12 American players scored. Just Sandrine Gruda (193-C-87) (12 points) reached double figures in scoring for France. The USA ensured it would win gold with a dominating third quarter, outscoring France 26-12 and taking a 63-37 lead into the final 10 minutes. The U.S. put full-court pressure on France, limiting clever point guard Celine Dumerc's ability to effectively run France's offense. The pressure forced France into 26% shooting from the field. Courtesy of www.usatoday.com
Australia - Russia 83-74 Lauren Jackson (196-F/C-81) wouldn't let Australia leave the Olympics without a medal. The 6-foot-5 Jackson scored 21 of her 25 points in the second half to help Australia beat Russia 83-74 on Saturday and win the women's basketball bronze medal.It is the fifth straight Olympics that Australia has won a medal. The Australians had won the past three silver medals since winning the bronze in 1996. Russia cut a 38-30 halftime lead to three early in the third quarter before Australia scored 10 straight to take command. Suzy Batkovic-Brown (195-C-80) had a three-point play on a tip-in of a missed shot and Jackson had a putback that made it 48-35 with 5:21 left in the quarter. Australia extended the lead to 15 points on Jackson's basket with 7:21 left in the game before Russia rallied behind Becky Hammon (175-PG-77, agency: Josep and Nicolas, college: Colorado St.). The Russians cut their deficit to 76-71 with 1:21 left but that's as close as they could get. Hammon scored 17 of her 19 points in the second half to lead Russia, which finished without a medal for the first time in three Olympics. The Australians had the two most memorable moments in women's basketball at the Olympics. Belinda Snell hit a 50-foot heave to send a game into overtime and Cambage Elizabeth (203-C-91) had a dunk against Russia, which might have been the first in Olympic history. Now they have a bronze medal. They would have liked gold, or even silver, but the team were felt very good about the bronze. Australian point guard Kristi Harrower (166-PG-75) finished with 21 points and four assists. The 37-year was playing in her final Olympics. As she dribbled out the final seconds on the clock, her teammates gathered around her, hugging and congratulating her. A few minutes later, they lifted Harrower up on their shoulders so she could be saluted by the fans. Australia came into the London Games off a disappointing fifth place finish at the 2010 world championship. The Australians are missing star guard Penny Taylor, who tore her anterior cruciate ligament in the EuroLeague finals in April. They lost a pool game to France - the first time they were beaten by a team other than the U.S. in the Olympics since 1996. Winning a medal at this Olympics was something Jackson really wanted. The Australians challenged the U.S. in the semifinals, giving the Americans their first halftime deficit in Olympic play in 12 years. They just ran out of gas in the second half and fell by 13, leaving them playing for the bronze. Trailing 20-19 early in the second quarter, Australia took control behind Harrower and Batkovic. The two sparked a 19-8 run to take control. Batkovic got the burst started with a jumper and had eight points during the spurt. Hammon scored her first basket of the game just before the halftime buzzer to get Russia within eight at the half. Hammon, 35, is playing in her second Olympics for Russia. She became a Russian naturalized citizen before the Beijing Games. Because she hadn't played for the United States in any major FIBA-sanctioned international events, she is allowed to compete for Russia in the Olympics. The 5-foot-6 South Dakota native helped Russia win the bronze medal at the Beijing Games. This is the third straight Olympics that Russia has reached the semifinals, but the team had to settle for the bronze in Athens - falling to the U.S. in 2004 and 2008. Even though she didn't win a medal this Olympics, she had a less stressful experience. Her patriotism was questioned in 2008 when she played with Russia, which won the bronze medal. Russia had won the bronze medal in the past two Olympics and hasn't won a gold medal since 1992 when the country was known as the Unified Team. *Courtesy of www.washingtonpost.com
Rio 2016: USA fire past Spain to clinch sixth straight title - 5 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.
Serbia concluded their first participation in the Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament on a high note by claiming the bronze medal thanks to a 70-63 win over France in Saturday's Bronze Medal Game at Carioca Arena 1. The game was close in the first half, but European champions Serbia blew it wide open with a 16-0 third quarter run, turning a 40-37 deficit into a commanding 53-40 advantage and they never looked back. With Jelena Milovanovic (6'3''-PF-89) and Milica Dabovic (5'8''-PG-82, a... [read more]
Serbia concluded their first participation in the Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament on a high note by claiming the bronze medal thanks to a 70-63 win over France in Saturday's Bronze Medal Game at Carioca Arena 1. The game was close in the first half, but European champions Serbia blew it wide open with a 16-0 third quarter run, turning a 40-37 deficit into a commanding 53-40 advantage and they never looked back. With Jelena Milovanovic (6'3''-PF-89) and Milica Dabovic (5'8''-PG-82, agency: BeoBasket) providing the scoring punch, Serbia raced out to a 15-5 lead. The pair accounted for all but two of their points as their team led 18-10 at the end of the first quarter. France opened the second period on a 7-0 run to get within 18-17. Ana Dabovic (6'0''-SG-89) hit a timely three-pointer and had Serbia's next four points to go up 25-19. Amel Bouderra (5'3''-G-89) and Marine Johannes (5'9''-PG-95, agency: Comsport) each connected from beyond the arc and Marielle Amant (6'3''-F/C-89, agency: Comsport) scored inside to give Les Bleues their first lead, 27-25. Ana Dabovic (6'0''-SG-89) made a pair of free-throws to tie the score at 27 at halftime. Les Bleues edged ahead, 40-37, midway through the third quarter but Serbia responded in resounding fashion with a run of 16 unanswered points spearheaded by Sonja Petrovic (6'3''-F-89, agency: Josep and Nicolas) that gave them a 53-40 advantage with 2:42 left in the period. France trailed 55-42 heading into the final frame, when Serbia did what was required to wrap up the win.
Turning Point: Petrovic accounted for 8 of the 16 points in Serbia's pivotal third quarter run. None were more important than the corner three-pointer that ended the spurt, as it gave her team their biggest lead of the game. Stats Don't Lie: After going up 40-37 in the third quarter, France went scoreless for 4 minutes and 51 seconds, between the 5:04 and 15 seconds mark of the period. Hero: Serbia as a team deserve to be praised. They opened the competition with three consecutive losses and turned things around to go on an incredible run, falling just short of reaching the Gold Medal Game. The Bottom Line: In a re-match of the EuroBasket Women 2015 Final, Serbia once again got the better of France and it resulted in another historical landmark moment for them with a first-ever Olympic medal.
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