LONDON -- The United States expected a tough battle from the Czech Republic, and they got one -- at least for a while -- as the Czechs raced out to a 10-0 start in the nightcap of Day 4's Olympic women's basketball competition in the Basketball Arena at Olympic Park Friday. In what has become their modus operandi, Team USA struggled through a slow start in the early going, gradually gained steam as the game entered its second quarter, and then cruised to a comfortable win in the second half as they picked up their 37th consecutive Olympic victory.
LONDON -- Two surprises – quite apart from the dunk by Liz Cambage – and a near-shocker marked Day 4 of the 2012 London Olympics women’s basketball competition. First, Canada bounced back in the fourth quarter to upset favored Brazil and move on to the knockout round, which begins next week, and then Turkey demolished an apparently less than intense Chinese team to punch its ticket to the quarterfinals.
LONDON -- Australia's 6-8 center Elizabeth Cambage (Tulsa Shock) made Olympic history today as she threw down the first-ever dunk in the Games' women's basketball competition. The 20-year-old's landmark moment came at the 6:14 mark of the third period in Australia's Day 4 match with Russia after Cambage took a feed from veteran point guard Kristi Harrower and slammed it home one-handed, putting, in the words of Opals coach Carrie Graf, "the punctuation mark" on what would become a 12-0 Australian run that broke open what had been to that point an extremely close game.
LONDON -- There was controversy and a couple close games during the third round of women's basketball in the 2012 Olympics, but with just two days of pool play remaining, the shape of the single-elimination, eight-team bracket that will determine the gold-medal winner is starting to take shape.
It was Asjha Jones' birthday, and her biggest present was 17:43 of playing time in the United States' 89-58 dismantling of a solid Turkish team in the third day of women's basketball pool play at the 2012 London Olympics.. Jones scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out a pair of assists as part of her contribution to the Americans' third straight win and advancement to the quarterfinals -- and the win came without the presence of Sylvia Fowles, out with an injured foot.
LONDON -- France picked up its third win in a row in the women's basketball competition of the London 2012 Olympic games, dropping Canada 64-60. The victory did not come easily as Canada gave France, a team ranked No. 8 in the world by FIBA, an intense workout from opening tip to final buzzer.
In dominating fashion, the United States easily handled Angola 90-38 in pool play on Monday at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena in London. Candace Parker led the way with 14 points, 12 rebounds and an Olympic single-game record four blocks.
“I thought it was a tremendous performance by Candace,” said U.S. head coach Geno Auriemma of Parker. “We saw a little bit of everything that she’s capable of doing. There are things that Candace can do that no other player can do.”
LONDON -- In an overtime thriller, France upset Australia, the three-time Olympic silver medalist, 74-70. Belinda Snell hit a desperate half-court shot at the buzzer for Australia to send the game into overtime tied at 65 apiece.
LONDON -- Don't let the 21-point final victory margin fool you. For 30 minutes, Croatia, making its Olympic debut in London this summer, gave Team USA as tough a test as any opponent the Americans have faced in recent memory. The trouble for the newcomers: A basketball game lasts 40 minutes, not 30.
If day one is any indication, women’s basketball in the 2012 Olympics will be a great show.
About the only game that went as expected was Australia vs. overmatched Great Britain, but otherwise, from Croatia hanging with the U.S. for 30 minutes to Canada exposing Russia to China and France pulling upsets, it was a day for the unexpected – and a great appetizer for what looks like it will be a very entertaining two weeks of basketball.