USA roll over France to take last Semi-Final berth
ISTANBUL (FIBA World Championship for Women) - Favourites and reigning champions USA collected a comfortable 94-72 triumph against France to breeze into the Semi-Finals of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.
The success handed head coach Geno Auriemma and his players revenge for a preparation loss to Les Bleues, although Brittney Griner who starred with 17 points insisted afterward it wasn't the main motivation.
"I think what happened in Paris recently was only in the back of our minds and I tried not to get caught up in it too much," explained the center.
"We were more concerned with posting a fast start and making sure we built on that.
"It was important that we didn't get too ahead of ourselves and we kept playing hard."
The USA certainly had the hot-hand right from the tip-off. In an astonishing opening salvo, they missed only one shot in the entire first quarter as they powered their way into a 29-14 advantage.
Once they had opened up their commanding lead, they found little difficulty in increasing their advantage and then hanging on to it during the second half - even though Sandrine Gruda was once again productive for France with 18 points and nine boards.
It means the USA will now face Australia in the semi-finals and Griner is already excited for the match-up.
"I am pumped to play anybody who is front of us-whether it is a Semi-Final or not," she said.
"I am already looking to a quick practice session and then the game itself.
"It's the title of world champions that we came here for and that is still the only goal."
Tina Charles was also impressive under the basket and added 15 points from a similarly clinical shooting display to Griner.