Aubry, Canada Prepare for Team USA
Former Husker Chelsea Aubry and the Canadian women's basketball team concluded Group B pool play with a 2-3 record after a 72-63 loss to Australia on Sunday at the Olympics.
Aubry, a 6-2 forward from Kitchener, Ontario, was held scoreless but managed one offensive rebound against Australia, which wrapped up pool play with a 4-1 record. Aubry was a four-year letterwinner from 2003 to 2007 for Coach Connie Yori and Nebraska.
Canada, which had already clinched a spot in the Olympic quarterfinals with wins over Great Britain and Brazil, struggled with a slow start against Australia. Canada trailed 24-10 after the first quarter, and Australia's lead grew to 19 points at 33-14 with 5:59 left in the second quarter before Canada rallied.
Canada strung together an 8-0 run to pull within 33-22 with 3:47 left in the first half, and settled for a 35-22 deficit at the break. Canada kept the momentum in the third, slicing Australia's lead to just three at 45-42 with 33 seconds left in the third quarter, before Australia carried a five-point lead into the fourth.
Canada kept battling in the fourth, climbing to within 55-53 after a Kim Smith three-pointer with 4:16 left. The Canadians trailed just 62-59 after a Courtney Pilypaitis three with 1:11 remaining, but Australia's Lauren Jackson sealed the win with six straight free throws while adding back-to-back defensive stops. In less than 20 seconds, Jackson pushed Australia's lead back to 68-59 to put the game out of reach.
Jackson, who has helped Australia to three consecutive silver medals at the Olympics, finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and two steals in just over 24 minutes. Liz Cambage added 19 points, four rebounds and four blocks.
Kim Smith was the only Canadian to manage double figures with 17 points.
France earned the top seed out of Group B with a 5-0 record after closing pool play with a win over Russia on Sunday. Australia finished second with a 4-1 mark, while Russia heads to crossover action as Group B's No. 3 seed at 3-2.
Canada, which entered the Olympics ranked No. 11 in the world, earned the final quarterfinal spot from Group B with a 2-3 mark and will face Group A's top-seeded Team USA in the quarterfinals.
Team USA continued its pursuit of a record fifth consecutive gold medal with a 114-66 win over China on Sunday. The Americans went 5-0 with an average winning margin of 36.6 points per game in pool play.
Women's basketball quarterfinal action gets underway on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 8 a.m. (central). All four quarterfinal games will be played at the London Basketball Arena on Tuesday, including contests at 10:15 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.