27 September, 2014
05 October
15 Brittney  GRINER (USA)
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Griner threat looms large, literally, on Australia in the Semi-Finals

ISTANBUL (FIBA World Championship for Women) - France coach Valerie Garnier's comments at the end of Les Bleues' 94-72 Quarter-Final defeat to the USA in the Quarter-Finals at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women seemed to also sound a warning for the Americans' opponents in the Semi-Finals Australia.

France had gone into the game as one of the few teams who had beaten the USA - albeit in a friendly - in an international game and therefore had raised expectations of the challenging the might of the Americans.

But as Garnier put it: "There wasn't much we could do."

And the reason, in the words of Garnier: "Brittney Griner."

"That day (when France won) there was no Griner. In this game, she was there. And that made all the difference.

It's difficult to play against the USA. It's difficult to play against the USA with Griner. - Garnier

Griner was the last player to make the USA roster and joined the team only after the reigning women's world champions arrived in Istanbul. The Phoenix Mercury star has ever since rattled the charts averaging 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

"I think it's difficult to counter her (Griner) offense. Voila!" said Garnier.

Griner had 17 points and 5 rebounds against France. Nine of those points and two of the rebounds had come in the first quarter when the USA turned on the heat to take full control of the proceedings.

USA coach Geno Auriemma also pointed to Griner as the main reason for the win.

You know, Brittney changes games, obviously. - Auriemma

"The way we started the game and the way Tina (Charles) and Brittney (Griner) kind of set the tone early on. We were able to get them established in the lane. Then we just played off of that," he said.

Griner herself was not completely satisfied with her performance. She was more interested in improving on her free-throw conversion rate having missed six of her nine attempts against France.

"I need to make those damn free throws, though. Six of them I missed," she said.

"(I was) just letting it (the game) come to me, whatever the defense gave me. I didn't want to force anything or you start to make a lot of shots and you start doing crazy things.

"I just wanted to let it come to me naturally."