London Quarterfinals: LJ Gets Record, Win
Lauren Jackson got her record. What she really wanted was the win, and she and the Australian Opals got that too, rallying from a halftime deficit to defeat China 85-70 in quarterfinal action at London's Basketball Arena.
Jackson entered the game 11 points shy of Janeth Arcain's Olympic record of 535 career points. She reached that mark with her final basket at the 3:46 mark of the fourth quarter, giving her 12 points. After the game, however, Jackson wasn't interested in talking much about the milestone.
"I hope we win," she said. "That's all I can think about. I'm happy, obviously. That's something that's nice but this is a team sport."
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Jackson became the all-time leading scorer in Olympic play during Australia's win over China.
The victory was very much in jeopardy at halftime after Australia missed 13 consecutive field goals during the second quarter. The extended drought erased an early Opals advantage allowed China to take a 36-35 lead to the locker room.
Australia Head Coach Carrie Graf made a lineup change to start the third quarter, putting former Storm center Suzy Batkovic on the floor with Jackson at the start of the half. That meant 6-8 Aussie star Liz Cambage came off the bench. The move gave both Cambage and Jackson more room to operate, and the Opals seized control of the action early in the fourth quarter. After China scored to get within two points with 8:24 to play, Australia finished the game with a 16-3 run to win going away. This was the Opals' largest victory since beating Great Britain by 16 in their opening game of group play.
Cambage finished with a game-high 17 points to go with seven rebounds. Jackson scored 12 points, Batkovic added 10 and the Aussies' other post, former Storm forward Abby Bishop, had nine. The group supplied nearly two-thirds of the team's scoring. The post players also helped the Opals to a 17-8 advantage in offensive rebounds. Ma Zengyu led China with 15 points, while Miao Lijie scored 13.
AUSTRALIA 75, CHINA 60: Box Score
Earlier Tuesday, the USA women booked their spot in the semifinals opposite the Australia-China winner with far less drama. Stifling U.S. defense held Canada to just 31 points in the first three quarters of a 91-48 quarterfinal win. The USA entered the final quarter with a 37-point advantage, perishing any thought of an upset by their neighbors to the north.
"I thought for the first time, maybe in this Olympics, we got out to an early, aggressive start, and put our style of play on to them and forced them to play at our pace, which against Canada is a big feat," said Storm point guard Sue Bird.
Canada shot just 30.2 percent from the field and committed 26 turnovers, struggling to find any offensive rhythm before garbage time. Besides leading scorers Kim Smith (13) and Chelsea Aubry (10), the rest of the Canadians made just seven field goals in 42 attempts (16.7 percent).
15 steals helped the USA women get out and running in transition, fueling their lead. A game after handing out a record 33 assists, the U.S. had 29 on 35 field goals. Five of them came from Bird, who also scored two points in 22 minutes.
Diana Taurasi scored 15 points to lead the deep USA scoring attack. Sylvia Fowles (in just nine minutes) and Candace Parker added 12 points apiece and Angel McCoughtry and Maya Moore each had 11 points. Asjha Jones was the only American player not to score.Comments blog comments powered by Disqus