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US Women’s Basketball Rout Japan to Reach Semi-Finals

USA Japan

It was a tale of two halves for the US Women’s basketball team when they took on Japan Tuesday night. Earlier in the day they watched Serbia upset second rank team Australia; not wanting to suffer the same fate Team USA knew they would need to be focused.

Japan came to play and if they were going to go down, they were going to go down swinging. They are an up-tempo team that looked to push the pace, attack the seams and shoot threes. For most of the first quarter both teams traded baskets and even the lead a couple times. It wasn’t until late in the first when the US went on a little run opening up a 7-point lead going into the second quarter. Japan wasn’t ready to roll over just yet as they fought their way back mid-way through the second to come within two points. It didn’t last long as the US went on another run to close out the half on an 8-0 run to go up 10 points.

What’s the saying? Don’t poke the bear. After having a tough battle in the first half that tested the US for the first time this tournament, they were not playing around in the second half. It was all Team USA in the second half outscoring Japan 54-18. Scoring never seems to be a problem as once again they broke the century mark for the fifth time in six games. After a lackadaisical defensive effort in the first half the US locked in and held Japan to just 33% from the field for the game. The end result was per the norm steaming rolling to the final of 110-64.

The game was not without some drama as midway through the second quarter starting point guard Sue Bird went down with a knee injury. After having it looked at and come out for half time warm ups, Bird did not return to the game despite the US only being up 10. No word on her condition, but the US is deep and should be ale to fill her spot should she not be able to continue.

After the game Japan posed for a picture with the team from America. This isn’t the first time this has happened as the Chinese team also requested a photo op with the likely gold medal winners. With their convincing win over Japan, Team USA moves into the semi-final where they will take on the winner of France-Canada Thursday.

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