Aug. 9, 2012
Team USA saw its first challenging matchup of the 2012 Olympic Games on Thursday afternoon against Australia. The Red White and Blue trailed at the half, 47-43, for the first time in London after being held to 44 percent from the field. The two squads have a historic rivalry as Australia has never beaten Team USA in Olympic play and have fallen to the US three consecutive times in the Olympic gold medal game to earn a trio of silver medals.
Team USA, advancing to its fifth-straight gold medal game, improved its impressive win streak to 40 victories in-a-row during Olympic play.
The US will face the winner of Thursday's semifinal matchup of France and Russia on Saturday at 4 p.m. EDT in the finals at the North Greenwich Arena.
Australia notched 47 points in the first half against a US defense that coming into Thursday's contest had held opponents to an average of 48 points per game. Leading Australia was Elizabeth Cambage who scored 19 points in the first half but went scoreless in the second half with 2010 UConn grad Tina Charles playing shutdown defense on the leading scoring threat.
Three former Huskies were the key to the US come-from-behind win with Charles, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi all having double digit scoring performances on Thursday. Charles registered 14 points and 10 rebounds for another Olympic double-double. Taurasi concluded the game with 14 points and five rebounds, while Bird, a 2002 Connecticut graduate went 6-for-8 from the field for 13 points. Additionally, Maya Moore knocked in nine points, dished out three assists and had two steals in the USA win.
For the first time in the 2012 Olympics, the final stats of the US and their opponent was evenly matched with the United States shooting 45.1 percent from the field and Australia hitting 44.6 percent from the field. Team USA outrebounded their opponent grabbing 55 boards to Australia's 52 but only denied one shot compared to Australia's four blocked shots. Once again the Red White and Blue defense was dominant with the US recording 11 steals and forcing 20 Australian turnovers.