US women expect tougher Olympic test vs Turkey

Associated Press Modified: July 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm •  Published: July 31, 2012
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LONDON (AP) — The U.S. women expect their toughest Olympic test so far when they play unbeaten Turkey on Wednesday in the women's basketball tournament.

The Turks have looked impressive in their first Olympic appearance and aren't intimidated by the top-ranked team in the world.

The U.S. has won its first two contests by an average of 38.5 points and is coming off a 52-point win over Angola. Turkey, however, hung with the Americans for three quarters of an exhibition game in Istanbul nine days ago before the U.S. pulled away to a 19-point victory.

"I've always thought that you can't judge what happens in any of the exhibition games leading up to the Olympics as to whether or not that's the team you're going to play," U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said. "We're going to play a really good team — a team that's got some size, they shoot the ball exceptionally well, they've got tremendous experience.

"I've been incredibly impressed with them since last year's European championships. I know we'll play a somewhat different team than we played in Istanbul. I know we'll have to play a lot better than we played in Istanbul."

There definitely is a familiarity between the two squads with six of the American players having spent time playing for Turkish clubs in the winter.

Seimone Augustus, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles and Tamika Catchings have played for Galatasaray, while Angel McCoughtry suited up for rival Fenerbahce. Diana Taurasi has been on both teams, which have a heated rivalry.

Lindsay Whalen will be the latest American Olympian to join a Turkish team next year when she plays for Galatasaray. She's been able to impact games for the U.S. women's team serving as the backup point guard to Sue Bird.

"She's definitely been a great change-up," Auriemma said. "Lindsay is much more direct, more physical than Sue. There's bodies flying when she's in the game. The tempo gets a little quicker when she's in the game."

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