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Aussies to face US for women's basketball gold
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Australia beat China 90-56 Thursday to cruise into Olympics women's basketball final, a showdown with Americans, the three consecutive Games title holder.

The Aussies went on a 8-0 run early in the game to lead 12-6 before China played tough defence to allow Australia to add only one point.

After Song Xiaoyun hit a three-pointer and Chen Xiaoli scored two points, China whittled the deficit to two points by the end of the first quarter, trailing 13-11.

The Aussies continued to excel on rebounds in the second quarter, with 13 compared to China's seven, and score in the paint to stretch the leading margin to double digits at half-time, 34-18.

The Aussies' defence forced China into a dismal shooting performance who scored only seven points halfway into the third quarter, leading the third quarter 57-39.

Keeping the momentum into the fourth quarter, Australia extended the advantage and sealed the spot for the final.

The Aussies will take on the United States on Saturday for the Olympics gold while China will meet Russia for the bronze.

The Chinese women's team, which grabbed a silver at Barcelona 1992 and a bronze at the Los Angeles Games, placed ninth at Athens 2004.

The Aussies, silver medallist at both Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000, clinched the title of the 2006 World Championships.

(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2008)

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