Japan beats France 79-71 to wrap up women’s hoops group play

by Associated Press on August 13, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Asami Yoshida scored 24 points to lead Japan to a 79-71 win over France 79-71 Saturday to wrap up its group play in women’s basketball.

Japan came to the Olympics looking to improve on its best Olympic finish, which was fifth in 1976. Now Japan (3-2) will play the U.S. in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

Isabelle Yacoubou came off the bench for France (3-2) and still finished with a team-high 14 points.

The French led 19-17 at the end of the first quarter when Amel Bouderra’s 3 beat the buzzer, but Japan led 40-32 at halftime thanks to Sanae Motokawa who scored all of her 17 points in the first half.

Japan took its biggest lead at the end of the third when Yoshida’s 3 just before the quarter expired at 63-54, and they led by as much as 12 finishing off the win for their excited fans.

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