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Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010

Czech women stun Aussies at worlds

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic (AP) Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus was waiting in the locker room to celebrate the country's biggest women's basketball win.

News photo
No hospitality: Australia's Elizabeth Cambage shoots over the Czech Republic's Ilon Burgrova in quarterfinal action at the FIBA World Championship on Friday. The Czech Republic won 79-68. AP PHOTO

Klaus, a former basketball player, watched as the Czechs knocked off defending champion Australia 79-68 Friday night in the FIBA Women's World Championship quarterfinals.

"We talked after the game," Czech coach Lubor Blazek said. "He was proud of what we had accomplished."

Eva Viteckova scored 27 points and Hana Horakova added 21 for the host nation, which will play Belarus in the semifinals on Saturday. Belarus upset top-seeded Russia earlier on Friday.

"It was an honor to have the President at our side," Viteckova said.

Leading 52-51, the Czech's opened the final quarter with a 11-2 run. Horakova hit back-to-back 3s to start the period and Viteckova capped the spurt with a 3 that gave them a 63-53 lead. That ignited the spirited home crowd.

Australia tried to mount a comeback, but could only get within six in the final 2 minutes.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Czech players piled onto each other underneath the basket to celebrate, while the 5,000-plus fans proudly waved their red and white flags and tooted their vuvuzelas.

"We weren't sure how many people would come to such an event," Viteckova said. "We got the experience in Brno and the fans were fantastic. We were surprised that the local fans were here."

Elizabeth Cambage scored 22 points to lead Australia while Lauren Jackson added 13. The WNBA MVP had a rough game, missing her first seven shots en route to a 3-for-15 performance.

U.S. 106, South Korea 44

Angel McCoughtry scored 17 points to help the United States rout South Korea and advance to the semifinals.

Maya Moore added 15 points, Candice Dupree 12 and Swin Cash 11 for the U.S. (7-0), which had six players in double figures en route to one of the most lopsided victories in worlds history.

The U.S., which made it to the medal round for the ninth straight time, will take on Spain.

Belarus 70, Russia 53

Yelena Leuchanka scored 17 points and Yuliya Dureika added 15 to help Belarus upset top-seeded Russia in the quarterfinals.

The team from the former Soviet Republic advanced to a semifinal against the Czech Republic on Saturday.

Becky Hammon scored 16 points and Svetlana Abrosimova added 14 to lead Russia (6-1).

Spain 74, France 71 (OT)

Amaya Valdemoro scored 28 points and Anna Montanana added 14 to lead Spain over France.

Japan finishes 10th

KARLOVY VARY , Czech Republic (Kyodo) Japan lost to Brazil 84-79 in the match for ninth and 10th place at the FIBA Women's World Basketball Championship on Saturday.

Japan finished three spots better than its previous 13th showing at the 2002 worlds.

Japan had a 45-42 halftime lead, but was left to pay the price for a poor third quarter. Brazil held off a late comeback attempt by Japan.

"We always allow our opposing team's center to dominate the paint," Japan head coach Fumikazu Nakagawa said. "I told (Hiromi) Suwa and (Maki) Takada to defend that player but they just couldn't continue to do so.

"But I'm sure my players are starting to believe they can compete on the global stage."

Brazil's Alessandra Oliveira and Japan Yuko Oga each scored a game-high 21 points.



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