Tokyo (Japan) July 31: Chinese women's national basketball team advanced to the Tokyo Olympics quarterfinals here on Friday by beating Australia 76-74, together with Belgium and the United States.
China now goes up to 2-0 in Group C play, while Australia fell to 0-2 after losing to Belgium 85-70 in their first game.
China's captain Shao Ting made two free throws before Katie Ebzery made another three to tie the game 74-74. With 0.6 seconds left, Li Yueru drew fouls and made two free throws to seal the victory.
Wang Siyu led China with 20 points. Li Yueru contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds. Li Meng added 11 points and 7 assists. Ezi Magbergor scored a team-high 15 points for Australia, followed by 11 from Jenna O'Hea.
Belgium also clinched a spot for the quarterfinals by blowing out Puerto Rico 87-52. Emma Meesseman had 26 points and 15 rebounds for Belgium. Hanne Mestdagh finished with 18 points. Jazmon Gwathmey led Puerto Rico with 20 points.
"Everybody could step on the court today. It was a very nice thing for us as a team because we're with 12 players and everybody's important, and it's nice that everybody got their minutes. And I think that was a very pleasant moment today," said Belgian player Julie Vanloo after the game.
The United States' quest for the seventh straight gold medal continues as they beat Japan 86-69. Japan was limited to only 10 points in the second quarter as Team USA asserted control in the paint with an 11-3 run. U.S. enjoyed the lead to as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter, putting the game beyond reach.
"They're really superstars. They know how to play and they're tall and we're small. So we have to run faster than them. So that was a bit difficult, but it was fun," said Evelyn Mawuli of Japan.
A'Ja Wilson led the United States with 20 points. Breanna Stewart and Brittney Griner added 15 apiece. Maki Takada scored a team-high 15 points for Japan.
Five players scored in double digits as France bounced back to trounce Nigeria 87-62.
Sandrine Gruda scored 14 points for France. Gabby Williams, Endene Miyem, Marine Johannes and Alix Duchet each had 13 points. Promise Amukamara led Nigeria with 11 points.