Australia avoided an upset as they dispatched the dangerous Chinese women’s squad to set up a semifinals duel with archrival USA in the ongoing women’s basketball competition of the 2012 London Olympics.
Liz Cambage continues to have a stellar tournament as she finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, while veteran Lauren Jackson added 12 points to become the all-time Olympic scoring leader (536 points) in women’s basketball, surpassing Brazilian star Janeth Arcain.
Suzy Batkovic also had a fair share of credits, racking up 10 points and nine rebounds, while Abby Bishop and Jenna O’Hea added nine and eight points, respectively for the much-favored Opals, who were pushed to the limits by the reigning Asian champions.
The Opals ended the first period on top by six points, 22-16, but China refused to give up early and fought back, turning a nine-deficit early in the second period to a one-point advantage at the half.
The two teams went toe-to-toe in the third period as the traded one baskets after another, but O’Hea erupted for six-straight points in the final two minutes of the quarter a give Australia a three-point lead, and more importantly, swinging the momentum to their side.
Visibly playing with more confidence, Australia never looked back and started to pull away from China en route to the impressive win – a way of winning that could definitely boost their morale going into their semifinals showdown with the USA, who defeated Canada earlier in the day.
Ma Zengyu had 15 points and five rebounds, Miao Lijie chipped in 13 points, while Nan Chen was limited to just six points on 3-for-11 shooting, which proved to be one of the missing links for the Chinese squad.
Australia and USA, who met in the finals of the three previous Olympics but won’t happen this time after the Opals failed to finish on top of their group, will collide on Thursday.