US women put on offensive clinic in hoops
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Associated Press LONDON — More offensive fireworks were on display at the basketball venue — this time courtesy of the US women.
The Americans tied their Olympic scoring mark in a 114-66 rout of China Sunday and set a couple of other US records along the way.
Just days after the US men shattered the Olympic record for points in a game, the women put on their own show.
‘‘We’ve got a lot of good offensive players,’’ said coach Geno Auriemma. ‘‘When everything is clicking and they’re in synch and the ball’s moving like it was today, we’re a fun team to watch, and hopefully everyone who was watching enjoyed it.’’
Diana Taurasi scored 22 points as the women matched the 114 points they scored against Spain in 1992, and fell well short of the women’s Olympic mark of 128 points set by Brazil in 2004.
The band of All-Stars also set American Olympic records with 33 assists that led to another team milestone of 52 baskets.
‘‘This team takes tremendous pride in sharing the ball and we’ve got good passers and finishers,’’ Auriemma said.
Six players scored in double figures and 10 of the 12 had an assist.
‘‘This team is so unselfish,’’ said Tamika Catchings, who led the US with seven assists. ‘‘It becomes contagious.’’
China was able to hang with the US for a quarter behind its own hot shooting before the Americans turned the game into a blowout.
The victory was the Americans’ 38th straight in Olympic play and gave them the top seed in the group for the quarterfinals. The US will meet Canada on Tuesday.
The Americans (5-0) haven’t lost a game in the preliminary round since 1976 — the first time that women’s basketball was played in the Olympics.
Sylvia Fowles played after missing the last three games to rest a sore left foot. She started the second quarter and made an immediate impact with 4 points and one block in four minutes.
The US men scored 156 points against Nigeria Thursday, surpassing the century mark midway through the third quarter in the blowout.
The American women tied their scoring record with less than a minute to play.
Chen Nan finished with 16 points to lead China (3-2).
France 65, Russia 54 — French captain Celine Dumerc paced her team with 12 points, and France (5-0) clinched the top seed in its group. Russia (3-2) advanced despite the loss.
Czech Republic 82, Angola 47 — The Czechs (2-3) secured the last quarterfinal spot by defeating winless Angola. Michaela Zrustova led the way with 20 points.
Turkey 70, Croatia 65 — The Turks (4-1) kept the Croatians (1-4) out of the quarterfinals with a narrow win.
Brazil 78, Britain 66 — In a battle of teams with no hope of advancing, the Brazilians (1-4) disappointed the winless hosts.