Team USA’s Stefanie Dolson (five points, eight rebounds, one assist, one block) did not allow France’s Mamignan Toure to get off a legitimate shot at the buzzer and the U.S. held on for an 18-16 win in the semifinals, allowing them to advance to the gold medal game, on Wednesday morning at Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.
Kelsey Plum (six points, two rebounds, one assist, one block) may have missed the first of her two free throws with five seconds remaining, but her make on the second attempt and then Allisha Gray poking the ball away with two seconds remaining forced France to take a ridiculous two instead of a one or a better two. Gray (six points, four rebounds, two assists, one block) had made a free throw with 34 seconds to go that put the U.S. up 17-16.
The U.S. led 16-14 with 1:31 to play, but Toure and Laetitia Guapo scored back-to-back to tie the game with 1:07 remaining.
USA led by three twice in the final four minutes and by four three times in the first six minutes. It never trailed.
Jackie Young added a point and two rebounds to the winning cause, while Ana Maria Filip was phenomenal in defeat with eight points, nine boards and a block. Marie-Eve Paget dished out a game-high four assists for France to go along with her three points while Laetitia Guapo (one rebounds, one assist) also had three points and Toure (one rebound, one assist) finished with two.
The shooting numbers were pretty even — France had a slight edge in both field goal percentage and 2-point percentage. USA made four free throws to France’s one, but missed three as well.
The U.S. will face Russia in the gold medal game.
Russia over China, 21-14
With 37 seconds remaining, Russia’s Olga Frolkina (nine points, one rebound) made a difficult 2-pointer at the buzzer of the shot clock as she was leaning to the left, dodging contact, and it ended the game.
Russia, which received 10 points, three rebounds and two blocks from Yulia Kozik, went on a key 4-0 run from 4:30 to 2:25 that took its lead from 11-9 to 15-9. It led by at least four the rest of the way. O. Frolkina scored three of the points during the run, including a 2-pointer that made it 14-9 with 3:44 to play.
Kozik made three layups, including a reverse, in the final 1:38, while O. Frolkina also had three points in that span to help Russia maintain its lead.
Zhiting Zhang did her best to give China a chance, scoring seven points to go along with three rebounds and an assist.
Russia gained a key advantage from beyond the arc with a 4-of-10 effort compared to China’s 1-of-8 showing.
Anastasia Logunova grabbed six rebounds for the winners to go along with her one assist and her two points. Teammate Evgenia Frolkina dished out three assists and had one rebound.
Shuyu Yang notched four points, three rebounds and an assist in defeat while teammates Jiyuan Wan (four rebounds) and Lili Wang (one rebound, two assists) settled for two points and one point, respectively.