By DOUG FEINBERG AP basketball writer
Japan, Saitama — Breanna Stewart scored 20 out of 23 points in the first half to help the United States defeat Australia 79-55 on Wednesday (Tuesday night PT) in the Olympic quarterfinals.
Americans will face Serbia in the semi-finals on Friday, aiming to advance to the gold medal game seven times in a row. The Serbs, who won the bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, beat China 77-70 in the quarterfinals.
For the first time since they met about three weeks ago, the United States appeared to be the dominant team that won the last six gold medals and 53 consecutive games at the Olympic Games dating back to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
During the pool play match, the United States has delayed the start since the first quarter of each contest. Stewart confirmed that it wouldn’t happen to Australia. Dragging 5-2, she scored seven consecutive points to start the 19-1 run. Australia had 10 sales during the period, so Americans led 26-12 after the opening quarter.
After Australia was able to get in the 9s in the second quarter, the US closed the half with a 20-8 run and advanced to 48-27.
Opal did not pose a threat in the second half as the lead swelled behind Brittney Griner, who scored 10 out of 15 points in the third quarter.
The United States and Australia are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world and usually play in the second half of the Olympic Games, but Australia rarely plays in this quarter. They needed at least 24 points to win against Puerto Rico in the final game of pool play to move forward.
Opal never beat the United States at the Olympics and lost to Americans in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 gold medal games.Australians also lost to the United States in the 1996 and 2012 Olympic semifinals
They were looking for another result in Japan. The team played an exhibition game in Las Vegas last month and Australia achieved an upset victory. Diana Torashi did not play in the match because she had recovered from a lower back injury.
Leilani Mitchell scored 14 points, leading Australia to host the World Championships in Sydney next year.
Australia’s Stephanie Talbot, who plays for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, played after missing the team’s final match against Puerto Rico. She only played against China for a few minutes after missing the opening match against Belgium due to a leg injury. She tested it before the US match, scored 4 points and played for 16 minutes.
The Australian men’s team will face American men in the semi-finals on Thursday. Most of the American men’s teams arrived just before half-time to see the women’s team play.
I’ll explain this story in more detail.
Breanna Stewart, U.S. women crush Australia to reach Olympic semifinals – Press Telegram Source link Breanna Stewart, U.S. women crush Australia to reach Olympic semifinals – Press Telegram