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USA, Australia women's basketball teams continue winning trend
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08:13, August 12, 2008

Both defending champions United States and world titlists Australia took their second victory on Monday, the day two of the women's basketball tournament at the Olympics.

The Americans underlined their status as gold medal favourites by blowing out hosts China in the first quarter on their way to a 108-63 triumph in Group B.

The US trailed the Group A encounter 11-10 but then scored 23 unanswered points to finish the first quarter 33-11. Tina Thompson scored 13 points of a game-high 27 in the first-quarter spurt.

Any hopes that China might get back into the game disappeared immediately after the restart as the US went on a 14-1 run before taking a 61-27 lead at halftime.

China battled in the second half but fell even further behind.

Miao Lijie scored 16 points but only shot 5-of-14, Chen Nan added 14 and for China, who will played against New Zealand Wednesday.

Spain cut down New Zealand in an 85-62 win when Isa Sanchez scored 11 of her team-high 19 points in the first half. Alba Torrens, the rising Spanish star who led the team with 18 points in their loss to the Chinese, scored nine in 24 minutes.

The Spanish, who were defeated by hosts China 64-67 on the opening day, built a 40-27 lead at halftime. New Zealand managed to reduce the deficit to eight points on three occasions in the third quarter but Spain were never under serious threat.

Jillian Harmon had a game-high 22 points for New Zealand.

The Czech Republic bounced back from their opening defeat against the United States as they thrashed Mali 81-47.

The Czech scored the first 12 points of the game and extended their lead to 23-4 by the end of the first quarter.

They went in front by as many as 22 in the second quarter and cruised the rest of the way.

Mali suffered the loss of captain Hamchetou Maiga to an ankle injury in the third quarter.

The Australian overcame a terrible halftime performance to beat Brazil 80-65 in Group A for their second victory.

Australia took control early and finished a 50-29 first half. However Brazil, who tried to avoid a second loss game, fought back to close the gap to 60-69 with last five minutes to play before the Aussies regrouped and pulled away with a 11-5 run to seal the triumph.

Lauren Summerton off the bench led five Australians to score double figures with 18 points and six rebounds. Kelly Santos hit a game-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Brazil.

Russia rallied from five points down in the third quarter to snatch a 77-72 win over South Korea.

The European champions, who were bronze medalists four year ago and cruised past Latvia in their group opener on Saturday, trailed in the third period by 54-59, but fought back with a strong 23-12 fourth quarter run for the victory.

Both sides changed the lead for 12 times and got seven times tied. From then on Russia pulled away after Lee Misun scored a three-pointer and made it 72-70. They never look back.

The group also saw Belarus put themselves into medal account by thrashing Latvia 80-57 in a rematch of the bronze-medal playoff at the European Women's Basketball Championships.

Playing in their first-ever Olympics, Belarus showed they were much improved in the past year after they beat Latvia 72-63 in the last meeting.

Yelena Leuchanka had 22 points and Tatyana Troina adding 17 for Belarus, which were better off on every aspect on the court.

Gunta Basko led Latvia with 19 points and Liene Jansone contributing 16.

Source:Xinhua

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1 China 13 3 4 20
2 USA 7 6 8 21
3 South Korea 5 5 0 10
4 Italy 3 4 2 9
5 Australia 3 1 3 7
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