LONDON (AFP) –
Australia’s Lauren Jackson became the all-time leading scorer in Olympic women’s basketball history on Tuesday, powering the Opals to a 75-60 victory over China to reach the Olympic semi-finals.
Australia will face the unbeaten US team of Women’s NBA stars on Thursday in a semi-final rematch of the past three Olympic finals, all of them won by the four-time defending champion Americans, who have 39 Olympic wins in a row.
Jackson scored 12 points to give her 536 all-time points at the Olympics, one more than the old mark established by Brazil’s Janeth Arcain.
Jackson, a three-time Women’s NBA Most Valuable Player, set the record on an inside jumper with 3:45 remaining in the fourth quarter that gave the Aussies a 71-58 lead and helped seal China’s fate.
Just 1:47 earlier, the 1.95m Jackson sank a 3-pointer as part of a 10-0 run by the Opals that broke open a tight game and put them ahead 69-57.
The Aussies improved to 4-4 in world and Olympic games against China with their fourth win in a row over their Asian rivals, who have not beaten Australia in such games since 1994.
The Americans are 15-0 against Australia in Olympic and world championship competition.
China led 36-35 at half-time and led much of the third quarter until Aussie Jenna O’Hea scored six points in a row, the last four off fast break baskets, and the Opals rallied for a 55-52 edge entering the fourth quarter.
Liz Cambage led Australia with 17 points and seven rebounds while Ma Zengyu led China with 15 points.