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OLYW - USA take command early to reach Semis
LONDON (Olympics) - The United States cruised to a 91-48 win over Canada in the Quarter-Finals of the Olympic Basketball Tournament for Women on Tuesday.
The USA, chasing a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal, will face either Australia or China - whom they beat 114-66 on Sunday - in Thursday's Semi-Finals.
Diana Taurasi led five players in double-digits with 15 points and Candace Parker added a dozen to go with seven rebounds.
Canada, appeating in their first Olympic Quarter-Final since 2000, had a rough start which was down to poor shooting and turnovers.
Allison McNeill's team made just six of 27 from the field and turned the ball over 12 times in the first half as they fell behind 42-21.
The Canadians did some shooting touch after the break, but the deficit to make up was too large and their opponents were firmly in control.
The USA did a good job of imposing their preferred running style of play and not getting sucked into a slow, grind-out battle which the Canadians prefer.
Afterwards, USA captain Sue Bird talked about how the start of the game was crucial.
"For the first time in the tournament, we got off to a great start and imposed our pace on them," she said.
"Canada are a tough team, they like to run their offense and make you work. We made them work today."
Head coach Geno Auriemma admitted his players were well briefed on being the team to create the rhythm of the game.
"We went into the game very aware that every game Canada played in this tournament came down to two or three possessions. They were in every game they played in," he said.
"Their style of play is about making you play the way they want. So we talked a lot about creating the tempo we wanted and we did that right from the start."
Kim Smith had 13 points and six rebounds and Chelsea Aubry added 10 for Canada.