Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Aug. 17, 2008

Another game, another rout.

Tina Thompson scored 10 points during a 21-0 run in the second quarter and the U.S. women’s basketball team beat New Zealand 96-60 on Sunday night.

The U.S. closed out pool play in the same fashion as all its other games in the Olympics – with a blowout. The Americans won the five games by an average of 43 points. With the exception of a rough first half against Spain and the first 3 minutes against the Czech Republic, the U.S. looked unbeatable.

“You got to take care of this to move on,” said U.S. co-captain Katie Smith, who added 13 points. “You can’t look at this game and think we played well and we’re going to move on. It’s about what we do in two days.”

The U.S. will play South Korea in the quarterfinals Tuesday night. The South Koreans advanced to the next round by holding off Latvia 72-68 on Sunday.

“We don’t know much about them yet,” Smith added. “They hit a lot of 3s and love to drive and kickout for the open shot.”

New Zealand was able to stay close with the U.S. for a quarter behind hot shooting. They were 8-for-16 in the first quarter and only trailed by five at the end of the period.

The U.S. took over in the second quarter turning up their defensive intensity. Lisa Wallbutton’s jumper with 7:29 left in the period cut New Zealand’s deficit to 29-22 before the Americans scored 21 straight points.

Lisa Leslie started the run with a layup and then Thompson hit three layups and two jumpers over the next 5 minutes as the U.S. stretched out its lead. DeLisha Milton-Jones’ reverse layup ended the run with 18 seconds left in the half and put the Americans up 50-22.

“I just happen to be in the right place at the right time,” said Thompson, who finished with 15 points. “I actually thought that I missed a lot of shots early that I usually hit.”

New Zealand (1-4) finally scored on Jillian Harmon’s jumper from the corner just at the halftime buzzer. The Kiwis missed eight straight shots and had three turnovers during the drought.

It was a pretty exciting opportunity,” said Harmon, who will be a senior at Stanford this fall. “I think most of us grew up watching these girls. I think I was 10-years-old when Lisa Leslie played in her first Olympics. It was a good experience. I think we played pretty well, all things considered.”

The U.S. extended its lead in the third quarter to 38 in the third quarter behind Smith, who had eight of her 13 points in the period. New Zealand got no closer than 31 the rest of the game.

Seimone Augustus added 12 points and Tamika Catchings had 11 for the U.S.

Angela Marino led New Zealand with 17 points and Wallbutton added 14.

“We’re here to learn what the Olympics is about,” New Zealand coach Mike McHugh said. “This is a 2012 team, maybe a 2016 team.”

In other games Sunday, Australia defeated Russia 75-55, China beat the Czech Republic 79-63, Spain routed Mali 79-47, and Brazil topped Belarus 68-53.