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Following the Olympics: Women Semifinals

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08/10/2012

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Following the Olympics: Women Semifinals

USA and France will see each other on the Olympic Women final on Saturday.

The USA women won their 40th straight match in Olympic Games competition to move within one game of a fifth straight gold medal, but they were made to work for it by the world number two team. Australia played an outstanding first half, making the Americans work really hard. The Aussies led the game 47-43 in the break. Liz Cambage proved to be a great problem for USA scoring 19points on the first half. However, Whalen took the lead for USA  scoring six points in a row to make it 61-56. Cambage could not make a shot in the second half, Australia shot just 4 of 18 from the field in the third. The game went to a 71-62 final score, with Taurasi and Charles on14 points, Charles adding 10 rebounds, and Bird collecting 13 points.

“Hopefully our players don’t think they’ve won yet,” said United States coach Geno Auriemma. “Everybody on the outside always talks about us and Australia as if we’re the only two teams in the tournament who are any good.””That’s certainly not the case. We knew coming into the tournament that if we wanted to win gold we would have to beat Australia, either in the semis or the final, but the gold medal game is on Saturday.”

France made sure of winning their first Olympic women’s basketball medal by beating Russia 81-64  to advance to the final against the long-reigning United States team.France stormed into an early lead, and then held off several Russian rallies before dominating the final quarter. Russia did not seem to know what had hit them early on as their opponents capitalised on early turnovers to race into a 10-1 lead, with Emilie Gomis collecting six points inside the opening three minutes. Gomis’ lay-up had France up 36-23 with two minutes left in the half, but Hammon’s three-point play sparked an 8-2 Russia run to close the half. Dumerc ended the third quarter with a huge three France led 59-51. They continued to pull away in the fourth quarter. The big shots kept coming, with Gomis making it 78-60 with 2:10 left on the clock and Dumerc sealing the win with a long three late on.Lawson-Wade led France with 18 points while Gomis had 15, Gruda and Dumerc11 each and Endene Miyem and Isabelle Yacoubou 10 apiece.

“We know that USA is so good,” said back-up point guard Edwige Lawson-Wade, who was high scorer in the game with 18 points. “Every position, every player they have can play really well. “To beat the USA you have to do the perfect game. Perfect in defence, perfect in offence. It’s something that happens once every few years, but it happens. So anything is possible. So we’re going to play that game to win.”

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