Australia Claims London Olympic Bronze with Win Over Russia

Australia wanted to win the gold medal this year, but they failed after losing to USA in the semifinals.

But despite falling short from their goal, Australia won’t go home without a medal after claiming the bronze with a convincing 83-74 win over Russia in final day women’s basketball action of the 2012 London Olympics.

Lauren Jackson, who is regarded as the best ever Australian women’s basketball player, made sure that they won’t go home empty-handed as she erupted for 21 of her 25 points in the second half to give Australia the consolation victory.

“Happy we won the way we did,” Jackson said. “Better than losing and getting silver, it feels better right now. I didn't want to walk away empty-handed. That would have been a tragedy.”

Kristi Harrower, who played in her last Olympic game, also played a huge role for the Australian Opals as she finished with 21 points and four assists, while Suzy Batkovic added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Aussies.

“We didn't get to play in the Gold Medal Game this year, but you know the last three Olympics we lost in the finals,” said Harrower, who ended her Olympic career with three silver medals and a bronze. “This year we finished the tournament on a win and now I can say that I'm a four-time Olympian with four medals.”

The Opals had a huge second quarter, taking a six-point lead at the half, but the Russia did not go down without getting them a huge scare, before the Australian veterans took over to take the win.

Becky Hammon led the Russians with 19 points, while Evgeniya Belyakova and Anna Petrakova added 10 points apiece, but it was not enough to pull off a win against the much-favored Opals.

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