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US women’s basketball team beats China in record-setting performance

By K.C. Johnson, Los Angeles Times –

LONDON — Closing pool play unbeaten and with its 38th straight Olympic victory, the U.S. women’s basketball team destroyed China 114-66 Sunday afternoon at Basketball Arena.

The U.S., which faces Canada in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, tied its 20-year team mark for most points scored and broke its 18-year team mark for assists with 33. Angel McCoughtry’s 8-for-8 shooting replaced Lisa Leslie’s 7-for-7 record from four years ago. And the 52 made field goals snapped by five a team mark from 1996.

(PHOTO: USA’s Sylvia Fowles (13) puts pressure on China’s Chen Xiaoli (13) during their game at the Basketball Arena at the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, Sunday, August 5, 2012.)

“We came out really focused,” U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said.

China entered 3-1 and hung with the U.S. for the first quarter, trailing just 31-28. But the U.S. repeatedly used fullcourt pressure to stymie the Chinese, recording 14 steals and scoring 28 points off turnovers.

Diana Turasi’s 22 points in 21 minutes led six players in double figures for the U.S., and the guard also had four steals. The U.S. shot 63 percent.

“When Diana plays the way she did, that’s infectious,” Auriemma said.

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