Spain heads to first gold medal game with 65-56 win over Turkey
Alba Torrens and her Spanish teammates had every reason to celebrate.
Spain reached its first trip to the gold medal game of the women's world championship. Torrens scored 12 of her 28 points in the fourth quarter and Spain beat host Turkey 66-56 in the semifinals.
''It's great for Spain,'' said Sancho Lyttle. ''It's an accomplishment for Spain.''
The Spaniards did a conga line back to the locker room after the win chanting ''Ole, Ole''
Spain, which won a bronze medal at the 2010 worlds, will face either the U.S. or Australia for the gold medal.
''It's going to be a dogfight as everyone wants to win a gold medal,'' said Lyttle, who had 18 points and 12 rebounds.
It was a tight game for the first three quarters with Spain holding a 41-39 heading into the final period. Torrens, whose WNBA rights are held by the Connecticut Sun, started the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer.
With Spain (5-0) leading 47-44, Torrens scored five points during a 9-0 run that finally gave the team a cushion. Turkey couldn't get within single digits the rest of the way.
Turkey played inspired basketball for the first three quarters to the delight of the huge crowd, who were screaming, whistling, and cheering on nearly every play. The Turks (4-1) did their best to try and send the crowd home happy, but they just couldn't find a way to stop Torrens.
Nevriye Yilmaz and Lara Sanders each scored 18 points for Turkey, which has had a strong showing in its first world championship.
CANADA 55, FRANCE 40
Miranda Ayim scored 12 points to lead Canada to a win over France in the classification round.
Canada (3-3) will face China for fifth place. That would be the Canadians best finish in the world championship since coming in third in 1986.
France, which was the silver medalists at the 2012 London Olympics, will play Serbia for seventh place.
Canada led 15-8 after the first quarter before taking control in the second. The Canadians scored the first 15 points of the second quarter to blow the game open. Ayim had four points during the game-changing spurt.
France won the preliminary pool game between the teams by four points.
CHINA 85, SERBIA 69
Shao Ting scored 24 points to lead China to a win over Serbia.
The Chinese star, who is averaging 12.3 points a game, was 10 of 16 from the field in the victory. China (3-3) advanced to the fifth place game and a victory over Canada would give the country its best finish since the 1994 worlds. That year China came in second.
Serbia (3-3) will play France for seventh place. Milica Dabovic scored 12 points to lead Serbia, which is playing in its first world championship.
China lost the preliminary pool game between the teams by two points.