Women's basketball beats Croatia for 2nd win in London
Updated: 2012-07-30 21:46:09
Croatia's Luca Ivankovic (R) challenges China's Chen Nan under the basket during the women's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
LONDON - Center Chen Nan scored 28 points to lead China to an 83-58 win over Croatia for the second victory of the women's basketball competition at the London Olympic Games on Monday.
China, which finished fourth in the Beijing 2008, are in the driving seat to take on Angola and Turkey in the preliminary round before they face the mighty United States, which they never beat at the Olympics.
Teammate Miao Lijie chipped in 17 points and dished out 10 assists, in addition to five rebounds, in China's victory.
"We took the game really serious and that's why we beat them by a big margin. I think the United States were not taking the first game serious, so they won it little," Miao talked about the 25-point winning margin, which is same as the victory of the US against Croatia, 81-56 on Saturday.
Croatia's Iva Ciglar thought different, and she said "We had different mantalities to the two matches. The US were really really strong, but we thought we could beat China. China played a good game, they deserved the win. They have the quality to play against anyone in the world."
Croatia came into the game strongly as they took some lead in the first quarter and trailed by 24-21 in the period.
"Croatians are very skillful and better than us in 1-on-1. We changed the defence to zone in the second quarter, which was the key to the victory," Chinese coach Sun Fengwu said.
Leading 39-31 in the first half, Chen put the game under her control as she drilled in a series of jumpers on the top of the paint. China led as many as 20 points in the third quarter, which was concluded by 64-45.
Croatia committed 25 turnovers, which were capitalized by the Chinese to 24 points, and China had 25 assists in total.
"I don't know why. We had too many mistakes, and turnovers. I don't know what's the problem with our defence," Croatian coach Stipe Bralic said.
Sandra Mandir led Croatia with 22 points and Andja Jelavic added 11, but the backcourt pair had 11 turnovers together.
"The Croatian team is playing similar game with us - small but fast. Today we were faster, and did better job on pick-and-roll. It's a game of speed and preciseness," said coach Sun.
China's players celebrate their victory over Croatia after their women's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]