France’s Marie-Eve Paget missed the second of her two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining, but teammate Laetitia Guapo secured the rebound, eliminating any hope Japan had of getting it out to the perimeter for a desperation two to tie at the buzzer. As a result, fifth-seeded France held on to defeat fourth-seeded Japan, which was coming off a big-time win over No. 1 seed USA in the prelims, and advanced to the semifinals where it will face the U.S.
The final score was 16-14, much closer than the French were hoping it would be when the score was 12-5 in their favor with 3:39 to play. Japan went on a 4-0 run to make it 12-9 and then another 4-0 run to cut it from 15-10 to 15-14. Stephanie Mawuli had a chance to tie it for Japan, but missed an inside look with four seconds remaining before Paget was fouled and made the first of her free throws. Mawuli had scored three-straight points before that.
Japan led 3-1 before France went on an 11-2 run. The scoring was balanced for France’s four players during that run, as were the final totals. Paget (two rebounds) finished with five points, Guapo (six rebounds, one assist) and Mamignan Toure (two rebounds, one block) both had four and Ana Maria Filip (four rebounds) had three.
Paget capped the run with a 2-pointer, the third two of the stretch with others coming from Filip and Guapo. As a team, France was 4-of-11 from distance, while Japan was 0-of-5.
Mio Shinozaki notched seven points and two rebounds in defeat, while Mawuli finished with five and six, as well as two assists. Mai Yamamoto, who led Japan with eight points earlier in the day against the U.S., added two points, while Risa Nishioka contributed two rebounds and a block.
No. 3 seed China over No. 6 seed Italy, 19-13
Since going up 10-6 on a Lili Wang basket, China led by at least four and by seven twice at 17-10 with 2:08 remaining and 19-12 with 30 seconds to go. Wang poured in 11 points to go along with four rebounds and an assist. She was 6-of-7 on 1-pointers and 2-of-2 from beyond the arc.
China will face No. 2 seed Russia (5-2) in the semifinals at 5:10 a.m. on Wednesday.
Zhiting Zhang grabbed seven boards and tossed in four points for the winners, while teammate Shuyu Yang added three points, three rebounds and three assists and Jiyuan Wan had one point and four rebounds.
Rae Lin D’Alie (three rebounds) and Chiara Consolini (two rebounds, one block) each notched five points in defeat. Their teammates Marcella Filippi (two rebounds, one block) and Guilia Rulli (four rebounds) added two points and one point, respectively.
The shooting percentages were pretty even across the board, but China made one more 2-pointer and two more free throws than Italy. China also out rebounded Italy 19-13 and held it to zero assists.