August 18, 2016, 5:02 pm
The US women started a little slowly but followed the same script as they did against Japan by kicking things into high gear in the third quarter. Spain dominated Serbia in a fairly impressive win to set our gold medal matchup.
Spain 68 vs. Serbia 54
USA 86 vs. France 67
Spain 68 vs. Serbia 54
Spain will earn their first ever medal in women’s basketball after advancing to the gold medal game with an impressive win over Serbia. Spain’s personnel matched up well with Serbia while their defense was capable enough to shut down Serbia’s main scoring threats. Spain received strong performances from several key players and never really seemed to be in danger of losing this one.
Laura Nicholls (#4) and Astou Ndour (#45) owned the glass and simply overpowered weaker Serbian players in the paint. Nicholls recorded a 13 and 12 double-double with 3 blocks while Ndour posted 14 and 6 with 3 blocks of her own. Spain won the rebounding matchup overall by a 44-31 margin as Serbia really had no answer for the size advantage down low. That, combined with a quick start, made it an uphill battle for Serbia from the jump.
Serbia has relied on Sonja Petrovic (#5) and Jelena Milovanovic (#9) to lead the way all tournament but neither could get much going today. Both shot just 4-15 and Milovanovic hit her last three shots in the fourth quarter. Sasa Cado (#6) stepped up her game today with the stars struggling, but her 12 points weren’t enough without other secondary scoring. Serbia actually did well to force turnovers (19 today), as they have all tournament, but struggled with quicker Spanish guards and were buried under foul trouble for much of the day. Milovanovic picked up her fourth foul early and was limited to just 20 minutes in a big game. Serbia will play for the bronze on Saturday.
Spain Serbia Points Torrens / Ndour 14
Cado / Petrovic 12
Milovanovic / Page 10
A. Dabovic 8
Rebounds Nicholls 12
Petrovic / Page 7
Assists Palau 7
Four with 2
Radocaj / Petrovic / A. Dabovic 2
Milovanovic / Jovanovic 1
- Spain got lots of easy dribble penetration early on
- Serbia’s bench really gave them a jolt; great work to generate turnovers
- Spain has massive advantage on the glass
- Serbia had trouble defending quicker Spanish guards without fouling; lots of foul trouble
- Spain got some easy looks on backdoor cuts to keep things moving when the shooting went cold