Han Xu and China clinched a spot in the medal round with a win over Bec Allen and the Opals, while Marine Johannes reached double figures for France.
Women’s basketball group play at the 2020 Summer Olympics continued with New York Liberty representatives ramping up the action in Tokyo on Friday. The second set of games in group play featured Marine Johannes and the French seeking redemption after falling to the hosts, while a Liberty civil war was staged in the meeting between Australia and China. NetsRepublic has you covered on the metropolitan happenings abroad…
(All games can be seen on the NBC Sports app)
Johannes goes nearly perfect in second half
Marine Johannes took full advantage of an extended second half opportunity, shooting 5-of-6 from the field over the last 20 minutes as France (1-1) built a sizable lead over Nigeria. She was one of four French representatives to score 13 points as the team earned an 87-62 victory. Johannes’ 13 points ties her personal Olympic best, dating back to the semifinals of the Rio Games in 2016 against the United States. The sharpshooter also earned four rebounds and assists each, as well as two steals and a block.
France, which also hosts the Liberty’s 2021 third-round draft pick Marine Fauthoux (4 points and 3 assists over 14 minutes on Friday), is currently best among the third-place squads in the women’s tournament thanks to a +21 point differential. The Americans, currently leading Group B after topping host nation Japan, stand in the way of the knockout round, which is set to begin on Wednesday.
Next: France vs. United States, Monday at 12:40 a.m. ET (USA Network)
Han, China deal major blow to Allen and the Opals
A New York vs. New York matchup ended with Rebecca Allen and Australia on the precipice of elimination, as the Opals fell 76-74 to Han Xu and the Chinese. Allen once again struggled from the field (2-of-9) but contributed four assists and three rebounds in defeat. Allen notably sank her only triple of the day, one that made it a one-possession game as the Opals (0-2) tried to erase a 10-point lead in three-plus minutes. Though situated in third, place in Group C—by virtue of a healthy point differential lead over likewise winless Puerto Rico—Australia is currently the odd team out among the third-place qualifiers. The Opals have not missed out on an Olympic knockout round since the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Han provided solid minutes off the bench for China (2-0), earning six points, four rebounds, and three blocks over 12 minutes. Han currently ranks fourth among Olympic competitors in blocks (4), behind only Ji-Su Park of South Korea, Astou Ndour, and A’ja Wilson. With the win, China clinches a spot in the medal round, returning after missing out in 2016.
Next: China vs. Belgium, Monday at 4:20 a.m. ET/Australia vs. Puerto Rico, Monday at 8 a.m. ET