SAITAMA, Japan — Breanna Stewart scored 20 of her 23 factors within the first half to assist the U.S. beat Australia 79-55 on Wednesday within the quarterfinals.
The People will face Serbia on Friday within the semifinals seeking to advance to their seventh consecutive gold medal sport. The Serbians, who gained the bronze medal within the 2016 Rio Video games, rallied to beat China 77-70 within the quarterfinals.
For the primary time since getting collectively about three weeks in the past the U.S. appeared just like the dominant crew that’s gained the final six gold medals and 53 consecutive video games within the Olympics courting again to the 1992 Barcelona Video games.
“Knockout rounds brings out a sure depth a couple of crew and that performed an enormous position in it,” Sue Fowl stated. “It’s do or die at this level. That helps. I do suppose we subtly have been taking steps in the suitable route and getting higher. We’re trending in the suitable route and getting extra comfy.”
Throughout the pool video games the U.S. acquired of to gradual begins, trailing after the primary quarter in every contest. Stewart made positive that wouldn’t occur in opposition to Australia. Trailing 5-2, she scored seven consecutive factors to begin a 19-1 run. The People led 26-12 after the opening quarter as Australia had 10 turnovers within the interval.
“We needed to return out and set the tone on each ends of the ground,” Stewart stated. “We haven’t had nice begins to the video games thus far. That is the quarterfinals and it’s win or go residence.”
Australia was capable of get inside 9 within the second quarter earlier than the U.S. closed the half with a 20-8 run to go up 48-27.
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The Opals by no means threatened within the second half because the lead ballooned behind Brittney Griner, who scored 10 of her 15 factors within the third quarter.
The U.S. and Australia are ranked No. 1 and a couple of on the planet and often meet later within the Olympics, however the Aussies barely certified for the quarters. They wanted no less than a 24-point victory over Puerto Rico within the final sport of pool play to advance.
The Opals have by no means crushed the U.S. within the Olympics, dropping to the People within the gold medal sport in 2000, 04 and 08. The Australians additionally misplaced within the semifinals of the 1996 and 2012 Olympics to the U.S.
They have been searching for a special final result in Japan. The groups performed in Las Vegas final month in an exhibition sport and Australia pulled off the upset victory. Diana Taurasi didn’t play in that sport as she was recovering from a hip damage.
“Haven’t had certainly one of these in awhile,” stated Taurasi of the comfy win.
Leilani Mitchell scored 14 factors to steer Australia, which can host the World Championship subsequent yr in Sydney.
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