Australia beats Puerto Rico 96-69, advances to quarters

Aug 1, 2021, 6:49 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2021, 8:07 am

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Marianna Tolo scored 26 points, and Australia beat Puerto Rico 95-69 Monday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the women’s Olympic tournament.

The world’s second-ranked team came in needing to beat Puerto Rico by at least 24 points to advance with another tiebreaker. Anything less would send the Opals home with Canada advancing to the quarterfinals. FanDuel set a line favoring Australia by 36.

The Opals didn’t match that. They did win by enough to end Canada’s stay before the knockout round needing a 10-0 run over the final 2:19 to clinch and start a celebration.

Australia played without Liz Cambage, who withdrew before the Tokyo Games, and Stephanie Talbot, who plays with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. She missed the Olympic opener with an injured foot, played the first half of a loss to China but stayed on the bench for the second half.

Cayla George scored 19 points for Australia. Jenna O’Hea added 15, Leilani Mitchell had 12 and Ezi Magbegor 10.

Jazmon Gwathmey led Puerto Rico (0-3) with 26 points. Pamela Rosado had 13 and Jennifer O’Neill added 12.

The Opals missed their first five shots. Puerto Rico didn’t and scored the first eight points and led 24-22 after 10 minutes. Australia led 45-44 at halftime.

Then the Opals dominated the third, outscoring Puerto Rico 23-8 in the quarter for a 68-52 lead.

___

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