In a dramatic quarterfinal game that featured a tense, action-packed fourth quarter, France outlasted Spain 67-64 to advance to the Tokyo Olympics women’s basketball semifinals. It will be France’s third-consecutive semifinals appearance in the Summer Olympics; the French last medaled in 2012 when they took home silver.
While France jumped out to an early lead (21-16 after the first quarter and 36-30 at halftime) and led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, a valiant Spanish effort made it anyone’s contest during crunch time, during which the teams traded both baskets and miscues in heart-wrenching fashion. Even the French field goal that sealed the deal — a Marine Johannès fadeaway jumper — barely counted, dropping with just 0.1 seconds remaining on the shot clock to put away Spain’s last-ditch comeback attempt.
Ultimately, Spain’s huge advantage in offensive rebounding (17-5) and turnovers forced (19-13) were not enough to offset its cold shooting (34 percent). Astou Ndour-Fall concluded her strong trip to Tokyo with an impressive 16-point, 11-rebound performance, but Spain hit just five 3-pointers and was unable to cash in on several late-game shots at the rim — shots that would have changed the course of the game and possibly the tournament itself.
Instead, France will move on to familiar Olympic territory. Host Japan — fresh off a thrilling quarterfinal victory of its own — awaits. The game is scheduled for Friday at 7 a.m. ET.