washingtonpost.com  > Sports > Leagues and Sports > Olympics > 2004 > Sport-by-Sport > Women's Basketball

U.S. Gains Decisive Victory Over Czech Republic

Tuesday, August 17, 2004; Page D11

At least there's one U.S. basketball team that can still shoot straight. And these women rebound pretty well, too.

With a dominating performance on the boards and two big scoring spurts, the United States overcame another slow start and beat the Czech Republic, 80-61.

Yolanda Griffith, right, battles the Czech Republic's Michala Vorackova. (Michael Conroy -- AP)

_____ Day 4 _____
Michael Phelps's quest for seven gold medals at the Athens Games ends.
Americans Natalie Coughlin and Aaron Peirsol strike gold in the 100-meter backstroke.
The U.S. men's gymnastics team wins silver.
The U.S. softball team extends winning streak to 73 games.
The U.S. women's basketball team dominates the Czech Republic.
Venus Williams and Chanda Rubin lose their doubles opener.
Doubles partners Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish lose in Round 1.
The U.S. women's team edges Hungary in water polo.
Greece gets its first gold with a win in synchronized diving.
The IOC postpones hearing for Greek sprinters.

_____ More From The Post _____
Sally Jenkins: Phelps is a swimmer who still has some boy in him.
Michael Wilbon: At the moment, any opponent is a threat to the U.S. men's basketball team.
McDonald's goes for gold with Olympics sponsorship.
Beach volleyball is a beer commercial of a sport.

_____ On Our Site _____
Athens Snippets: The Games need a shot of pizzazz.
Graphic: The men's 200 freestyle was billed as the race of the Games.

_____ Monday's Medals _____
Men's 200-meter freestyle
Men's 100-meter backstroke
Women's 100-meter backstroke
Women's 100-meter breaststroke
Men's team final
Synchronized Diving
Women's 10-meter platform
Men's 3-meter springboard
Men's individual foil
Men's 73kg
Women's 57kg
Women's trap
Men's 10-meter air rifle
Women's 58kg
Men's 62kg

_____ Photos _____
Day 4
Day 3
Day 2
Opening Ceremonies

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The victory came a day after the U.S. men suffered a stunning 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico in their Athens opener.

"I think any time your team comes and watches the men's team get beat, you want to make sure that doesn't happen to you," U.S. Coach Van Chancellor said.

With key contributions from Tina Thompson and reserve Yolanda Griffith, the United States went on a 14-point first-quarter spurt to take the lead, then blew it open with a 16-2 run at the start of the second half.

"We talked at halftime that one of the things we've really been struggling with the past four games is that in the third quarter, we don't come out and attack," Tamika Catchings said. "And that's the one thing coach said. . . . we had to come out in the first five minutes and needed to go at them and attack them and that's what we did."

Lisa Leslie led the United States with 15 points, Thompson scored 12 and Griffith had 10. Quicker than its taller opponents, the United States outrebounded the Czech Republic, 43-22, and crashed the offensive boards.

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