Opals forced to settle for silver again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Opals forced to settle for silver again

By Guy Hand 29/08/2004 01:27:41 AM Comments (0)

The Opals flirted with a gold medal before having it snatched away from them by a victorious United States in the Olympic women's basketball final.

Australia led by four points late in third quarter before the defending champions lifted themselves to win 74-63, consigning the Opals to a second consecutive Olympic silver.

It was the Americans' third Olympic gold in a row and extended their unbeaten international winning streak to 43 matches.

The Opals were also beaten by the US in the gold medal match at the 2000 Olympics, but much more heavily than in Athens.

Earlier, Russia downed Brazil 71-62 to win the bronze medal in Athens.

Tina Thompson top-scored for the US with 18 points, while Penny Taylor led the scorers for Australia with 16 and Lauren Jackson pulled down 14 rebounds.

"It was a fantastic game - everyone put everything they had into it," Taylor said.

"Every single thing we had was left on the floor and unfortunately, it just did not go our way."

In an ugly first half full of wobbly shooting, turnovers and rugged defence, Australia hung in with the US, trailing 29-26 at the break despite a dismal one-from-12 from three-point range.

But Australia started the third quarter full of running, with Taylor hitting her stride after a quiet first half.

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