ISTANBUL (AP) – Tina Charles scored 18 points and Maya Moore added 16 to help the United States beat Australia 82-70 Saturday night in the semi-finals of the women’s basketball World Championship.
The U.S. will face Spain in the gold-medal game tomorrow. Spain beat host Turkey 66-56 for their first trip to the championship game. The Spanish team won a bronze medal at the 2010 worlds.
The Americans had to work hard for this victory – as is usually the case when these powers in women’s basketball meet. The U.S. won their first four games of the tournament by an average of almost 48 points but couldn’t put pesky Australia away until the fourth quarter.
Up 61-55 early in the fourth, the U.S. went on a 15-2 run, with Charles scoring six points in the burst to seal the outcome.
The Aussies have come far with a gold medal in the 2006 worlds and three silver medals and a bronze at the Olympics, but they have yet to beat the U.S. in a major international competition, including an 0-10 mark at the worlds.
Australia avoided playing the U.S. in 2006 when Russia beat the Americans in the semi-finals.
After failing to win a medal at the 2010 worlds, Australia will face host Turkey in the third place game.