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 -- 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.
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.
After steamrolling Croatia, 109-55, in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday, in a game that was all but over after the first quarter, Team USA encountered some stiff opposition from Turkey in Sunday's final pre-Olympic warmup. Turkey, along with Croatia, earned the right to compete in its first Olympics in women's basketball by making it to the quarterfinals at last month's 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women, but the two exhibition matches could not have been more different.
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.
Turkey and Croatia made history Friday as each nation earned its first-ever Olympic berth in women’s basketball at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women in Ankara, Turkey. France and the Czech Republic, both heavy favorites to make the Olympic field coming into the tournament, did not disappoint as they, too, secured their Olympic berths by winning their quarterfinal matches Friday.