Tamika Catchings keyed a 22-6 USA run in the second quarter,
Aug. 3, 2012
LONDON -- Trailing by two points to Czech Republic after the first quarter, the USA Women's Olympic Basketball Team finally found its stride in the second period and went on to an 88-61 victory Friday in Group A Preliminary Round play at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena.
The Americans, who won their 37th-consecutive game in Olympic Games action, improved to 4-0 at the 2012 Olympiad. The Czechs saw their record in London fall to 1-3. Team USA will face China (3-1) on Sunday at 11:45 a.m. Eastern time in its final contest of the Preliminary Round.
The USA trailed 26-24 after the first stanza, with Czech Republic knocking down its shots and the Americans struggling to find their range. After the deficit grew to 30-26 in the second frame, the Red, White & Blue seemingly received its proverbial wake-up call and responded with a 22-6 run. That surge, which was aided by six points from former Lady Vol Tamika Catchings, sent the favored team into the locker room at the half with a 48-38 advantage.
Making sure the Czechs didn't find a hint of hope in the third quarter, the USA bolted from the break to a 20-3 spree and extended its lead to 70-47 by the end of the period. The American lead never fell below 20 the rest of the way.
The last time the USA women matched up with Czech Republic, the USA pulled out an 89-69 victory in Czech Republic to capture the 2010 FIBA World Championship title and earn its 2012 Olympic berth.
Catchings finished with 10 points for the Americans on five-of-eight shooting from the floor and added four assists, a rebound and a steal in 18 minutes. Another UT alum, Candace Parker, produced seven points, four rebounds, steals and an assist in 16 minutes. Diana Taurasi had 18 points to pace the USA.
For access to bios for Catchings and Parker and a game schedule, please go to the UT Olympics Website.