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Australia eases past Belarus 83-64 in Olympic women's basketball opener
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14:01, August 09, 2008


Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (C) posses with Australian women's basketball players after their match agaist Belarussia during women's preliminary round group A of Olympic basketball event at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 9, 2008. Australia beat Belarussia 83-64.



Lauren Jackson (L) of Australia drives during the women's preliminary round group A of Olympic basketball event against Belarussia at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 9, 2008. Australia beat Belarussia 83-64.



Yelena Leuchanka of Belarussia shots during the women's preliminary round group A of Olympic basketball event against Australia at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 9, 2008. Australia beat Belarussia 83-64.



Belinda Snell (front) of Australia fight for a rebound during the women's preliminary round group A of Olympic basketball event against Belarussia at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 9, 2008. Australia beat Belarussia 83-64.

Worrld champion Australia thumped Belarus 83-64 on Saturday in Group A to open the women's basketball competition of the Beijing Olympic Games in the preliminary round.

The Australian girls, silver medallists four year ago and strong contenders for a gold medal, jumped out to a 16-6 lead after a 5-6 behind only four minutes going to the game and built a 41-24 advantage with 2:40 minutes left in the second quarter before finishing halftime with 44-28.

Belarus, who was first time to appear at the Olympic Games, never gave up. They cut the gap to 38-48 on a 10-4 run with three minutes into the third period and never closed than double digits.

It was 66-50 entering the fourth quarter, the Australians extended the margin to 76-53, the biggest one of the game, with six minutes remaining and were never been threatened for their first victory of the preliminary round.

Lauren Jackson, one of the best center in the world, led four Australians to score double figures with 18 points, followed by Suzy Batkovic 14, with Penny Taylor and Laura Summerton each 12. Australia shot 41 percent from the field (29-of-70 to Belarus' 32 percent (22-of-69) and outrebounded Belarus 48-44 and forced 19 turnovers while committing 14.

Yelena Leuchanka and Tatyana Troina scored 13 points apiece for Belarus, who will play against Latvia Tuesday. Australis faces Brazil Tuesday in their second preliminary rouand game.

Source:Xinhua

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