More teams fighting to qualify for the next round of the FIBA World Championship
On the third day of the FIBA World Championship preliminary round in Ostrava, USA and Australia became Group A and B winners by beating France and China.
This means that Australia and the USA will play each other on Wednesday, 29 September in the last match in Ostrava.
Belarus' experience showed as they beat Canada (61-49) in the final match from Group A.
Greece remain in the competition after beating Senegal with 31 points coming from EuroBasket Women 2009, Evanthia Maltsi.
USA out-rebound France to take Group B
Céline Dumerc opened the scoring for France after 40 seconds. Then we had to wait another two minutes before the USA got on the score sheet.
Sylvia Fowles out-bumped Emméline Ndongue under the boards to tap in the ball for the first points for the USA.
Both teams had to work hard to create space to make any type of shot and with six minutes played France led (5-3).
Angel McCoughtry's youthful exuberance resulted in her picking up 2 quick fouls.
France extended their lead (8-3) from the free-throw line. However the last two minutes belonged to the USA with Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird as they went on a 10-2 run to edge the first quarter (13-10).
Both coaches continued to rotate their bench as they tried to gain the upper hand.
USA led (19-15) with just two minutes played in the second period when Geno Auriemma, the USA coach, called for a time-out.
Both teams stepped on the accelerator as the intensity went up. Dumerc and Taurasi (both in picture) battled with each other when they were on court.
Tina Charles and Fowles battled with Elodie Godin, Ndongue and Marielle Amant in the paint.
The USA appeared to have the advantage while Pierre Vincent continued to turn his roster.
Nwal-Endémé Miyem scored 11 of her team's 19 points in the quarter. Yet it was Clémence Beikes who ended the quarter on a high with a baseline buzzer beater.
USA went into the locker room leading (36-29).
The third quarter was played at a much slower pace but with the same intensity.
The USA stretched their advantage to 13 points (51-38) with just under four minutes to play in the third quarter after Amant fouled out when attempting to block Swin Cash.
Jennifer Digbeu responded with a trey for France but 2 quick baskets from the USA forced Vincent to call for a time-out with two minutes remaining in the quarter.
With his side trailing (41-58), Vincent asked for more aggressivity from his players.
France rallied back but went into the final quarter trailing (48-61) after leaving Maya Moore open in the land of many.
The USA were not troubled in the final quarter and went on to win (81-60) with Taurasi leading the scoring with 15 points. Tina Charles and Candice Dupree fired in 10 points apiece.
For France Miyem was the only player in double digits with 15 points.
Both teams had already qualified for the next round of the FIBA World Championship. They will be back in action on Monday, 27 September 2010.
Evanthia Maltsi was on fire during the first three minutes of the game. She hit 3 three-pointers and scored 11 of her team's 13 points as Greece opened (13-5).
Moustapha Gaye, the Senegal coach, was forced to call an early time-out. He managed to put a system in place that restricted Maltsi from scoring.
Senegal also became more aggressive as they matched Greece basket for basket for the rest of the first quarter (13-22).
Greece failed blowing Senegal away and continued to drop points from the charity stripes in an evenly matched second quarter.
Senegal's aggressive style resulted in them picking up valuable second-chance opportunities as they went into the locker room trailing (29-40).
Greece struggled to get past the Senegalese zone defense. They were unable to extend their advantage while Senegale's poor finishing left them chasing after the game (40-49) with three minutes left to play in the third quarter.
Senegal relaxed the zone defense and Maltsi hit 2 three-pointers. Greece were back in control and went into the final quarter leading (59-47).
The last quarter was not pretty but Greece, led by Maltsi who finished the game with 31 points, won the match (83-66) to stay in the FIBA World Championship.
Iouliti Lymoura was the only other player from Greece in double digits.
Astou Traore, Aya Traore (right) and Mame Marie Sy Diop finished in double digits for Senegal with 14,13 and 10 points each.
Group B results: USA 81-60 France 60 Senegal 68-83 Greece
Matches of Group A of the preliminary round of the FIBA World Championship for Women
FIBA World Championship dreams over for China
With qualification assured for the next phase of the FIBA World Championship, the Australian head coach, Carrie Graf (left), experimented with her starting line-up.
Belinda Snell scored with the first shot of the game as Australia quickly got into their rhythm.
Lijie Miao interrupted the Australian flow with a trey which she quickly followed up with a couple of free throws (5-6) with three minutes played.
This was as close as China was to get to Australia as Snell kick started Australia with her trademark jumper from just outside the racket.
China had no answer to Liz Cambage (8 points). With four minutes left to play in the first quarter Australia had an 11-point lead which they increased to 13 points by the end of the first quarter (32-19).
The match lost all intensity during the second quarter as both sides stopped defending.
China reduced their deficit slightly going into the interval (36-51).
The game as a contest was over after the first half and both teams played out the second half of the match as if it was an exhibition game.
Lauren Jackson just played three minutes in total and was the only player from Australia not to score as her side came out winners (91-68) with Penny Taylor (right) leading the scoring with 16 points.
Hollie Grima and Jenna O'Hea scored 14 points apiece while Cambage added 13.
Miao was the leader for China with 17 points. Fan Zengvu and Xiaola Chen scored 13 and 10 points respectively.
Canada and Belarus went on the offensive from tip-off and were equally matched and tied (10-10) after five minutes of play.
Natallia Marchanka (left) led the Belarus attack during the first quarter with 5 points. But it was a collective team effort with seven players getting on the score sheet as they edged the first quarter (20-16).
The second quarter was rather defensive with Belarus coming out on top to go into the locker room leading (31-22).
Both sides continued to huff and puff during the third quarter without reaching the intensity of the first quarter.
Belarus' advantage in the paint was the main difference between the two teams and allowed them to stretch their lead going into the final quarter (46-33).
The experience of Belarus at this level of competition showed as they kept Canada at bay to win (61-49).
Tatyana Troina and Anastasiya Verameyenka were the only players in double digits for Belarus with 16 and 12 points each while Kimberly Smith led the Canadian attack with 11 points.
Both teams had already qualified for the next stage of the FIBA World Championship.