LONDON -- So often the focus is on the stars, but even though Liz Cambage (Tulsa Shock) scored a game-high 17 points for Australia, the reason the Opals beat China, 75-60, in the quarterfinals of the London 2012 Olympic competition in women's basketball today wasn’t the 6-8 20-year-old sensation, nor even the all-around play or record-breaking scoring of superstar Lauren Jackson (Seattle Storm). The real reason for the win was the depth of Australian roster.
LONDON -- For the first time since the London 2012 Olympic women's basketball competition began here at the Basketball Arena in Olympic Park, Team USA came out firing on all cylinders. Though the United States has ultimately defeated each of its preliminary-round opponents by a wide margin, they have shown a propensity for lackluster starts, at times having to dig their way out of double-digit holes before taking over.
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 -- 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.
China finished in fourth-place in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The top team in Asia, the Chinese are ranked No. 7 in the world by FIBA. So why does FullCourt.com think they may founder at the preliminary-round stage and may consider themselves just happy to be in London for the 2012 Olympics?
With a draw conducted immediately following the final game of its 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women, FIBA, the International Federation of Basketball, assigned the five teams – Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, France and Turkey – that qualified as a result of their tournament performances to the two previously established groups, finalizing the preliminary-round schedule for London 2012’s Olympic women’s basketball competition.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The 2012 USA Women’s National Team (1-0) notched a 100-62 exhibition win over China on Saturday night at KeyArena in Seattle, Wash. That the U.S. women, ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA, won was, by itself, unsurprising. That the Americans were able to so totally eviscerate the Chinese women -- ranked No. 7 in the world -- with only one day of practice under their belts since their roster was finalized late last month was impressive.
The picture is starting to come into focus. The Brazilians and Americans are definite gold medal contenders. Ukraine, China and Russia look like pretenders. Australia and Italy have yet to be tested -- but will be July 25.
Upsets? Not really. Surprises? Not many. Close games? Not even that.
The first day of the 1996 Olympics followed the form charts to the point of boredom in women's basketball. The narrowest margin of victory was nine points, and the largest was 17 -- which came in pre-Games' favorite America's 101-84 win over Cuba.