LONDON – Coach Geno Auriemma is looking for little ways to improve an already dominant U.S. women’s basketball team.
His focus for Friday’s game was rebounding.
Tina Charles and her teammates got the message, then pulled down a team-record 62 rebounds in an 88-61 win over the Czech Republic on Friday night.
Coach definitely put an emphasis of getting on the offensive boards, said Charles, who grabbed 15 rebounds and had 16 points. We got to keep doing that.
With center Sylvia Fowles still resting her sore left foot and Charles setting the tone, it became contagious. Angel McCoughtry finished with 11 boards, Lindsay Whalen nine and Maya Moore eight.
The team turned 27 offensive rebounds into 24 points.
I think we had six in a row on one possession, Auriemma said.
Diana Taurasi scored 18 points to lead the Americans (4-0), who have won 37 straight games in the Olympics.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Defending gold medalist Phil Dalhausser saw the Italian points pile up on the scoreboard and knew his hopes for a repeat were over when Todd Rogers’ final Olympic touch fell short of the net.
It’s a little bit different when you win: It takes about a month for it to sink in, Dalhausser said after the Americans lost to Italy in the round of 16 at Horse Guards Parade. When you lose, it smacks you right in the face the second the ball hits the sand.
Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo beat Rogers and Dalhausser 21-17, 21-19, fighting off one last rally to advance to the quarterfinals and put a surprising end to the Beijing gold medalists’ Olympic run. Although the Italians were one of the last teams to qualify for the London Games, it is the third time they have beaten Rogers and Dalhausser.
WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Destinee Hooker scored 19 points and the U.S. women’s volleyball team clinched the top spot in its pool with a preliminary-round victory over Serbia in straight sets.
Logan Tom added 12 points for the United States in the 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 sweep. The team will wrap up the preliminary round with a match against Turkey on Sunday.
There are two six-team pools in the preliminary round. The top four in each advance to the quarterfinals.
WATER POLO: With the shooters struggling to score, the U.S. women’s water polo team got a chance to rely on what it prides itself on most – defense.
The Americans survived an 11-minute scoreless start before Maggie Steffens put in three goals and the rest of the offense got rolling to edge China 7-6 in the teams’ last preliminary-stage game.
With the win, the U.S. finished the preliminary round even with Spain at the top of Group A with five points. But Spain earned the top seed with the tiebreaker. The Spaniards beat third-place Hungary by more points than the U.S. did, making the Americans the group’s second seed for the knockout stage.
The Americans will play 2012 European champion Italy in Sunday’s quarterfinals.
BOXING: All nine men from the U.S. team have been eliminated after losses by flyweight Rau’shee Warren and welterweight Errol Spence. Although three women are still alive, the American men will head home from London with their worst Olympic showing ever. Warren lost his opening bout in his record third Olympics, falling to France’s Nordine Oubaali 19-18. Spence then lost a difficult decision to India’s defense-minded Krishan Vikas, falling 13-11 despite showing more aggression throughout the bout. The U.S. team won just one bronze medal in Beijing, previously its worst showing.
TRACK AND FIELD: Seven sprinters ran women’s 100-meter heats in 11 seconds or better, led by the 10.83 turned in by world champion Carmelita Jeter of the U.S.
She was joined in today’s semifinals by Americans Allyson Felix and Tianna Madison. Defending Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her heat in 11 flat; her Jamaican teammates Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart also advanced. Entering the semifinals of the women’s 100 at Beijing four years ago, there was a grand total of one dash of 11 seconds or better – Stewart’s 10.98.