Women’s Olympic Basketball: Elimination Play Begins
Quarterfinals Kick Off the Olympic Bracket
Today marked the true beginning of Women’s Olympic Basketball play. The teams walked on to the court with only one team surviving to play another round. No prior success in the month of August really matters once this part of the schedule rolls around.
Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you the Women’s Olympic Basketball Bracket!
Sure enough, we started the day off with an Olympic basketball shocker. Australia had rolled through the field of Group A in preliminary Olympic basketball play, going a perfect 5-0 in the process. As the top Olympic basketball team from Group A, they drew the favorable matchup of the lowest seeded team from Group B – Serbia. Serbia was able to squeeze out a two-point victory on the heels of turnover struggles by Australia. Liz Cambage led the team in scoring again and was obviously frustrated by the lack of foul calls in her favor.
Spain and Turkey made sure to not be outdone in the second Olympic basketball game of the day. This game came down to the wire as well with a two-point victory for Spain. This exciting finish featured a roller coaster of emotions for both teams. Down by two, Turkey got the ball with a little more than ten seconds left and rushed down the floor to score the tying basket on an easy layup with 4.3 seconds left on the clock. Spain’s Anna Cruz took the inbounds pass, sprinted the length of the floor and threw up a prayer as she floated just inside the 3-point arc to steal the win.
In the last game of the evening, France and Canada battled it out early on and kept the game close. France was able to come away with a 5-point victory, becoming the only Group A team to advance to the semifinals. Sandrine Gruda led the way with 14 points and ten rebounds, securing a double-double in just under 29 minutes.
Team USA Focus
After watching two close Olympic basketball games, one being an upset of undefeated Australia, the Americans decided they would not fool around in the opening round of elimination play. Facing off against Japan, Team USA took care of business with a 46-point win.
USA started off slow but turned it on big time in the second half to pull away from Japan in their Olympic basketball bracket debut. Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury displayed her defensive prowess by blocking multiple shots in the paint and adding seven rebounds. Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore got it going on the offensive end, each contributing 19 points. Angel McCoughtry added 13 points and Elena Delle Donne scored eleven points. Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles each added ten points.
The winning Olympic basketball teams will now advance to the semifinals and will play on the 18th, allowing everyone a day to rest and recover. Team USA will play France in the early game, with Spain and Serbia facing off in the second game of the day. With three of the four victors coming from Group B, it appears that Group B may have been the stronger of the two Olympic basketball groups. Barring any surprises, this bodes well for the Americans hoping to bring an Olympic basketball gold medal home.