Beaten Opals push US to the brink

Australia exited the women's basketball competition at the London Olympics after providing the United States with a stern test in their 86-73 semi-final defeat at the North Greenwich Arena.

Australia exited the women's basketball competition at the London Olympics after providing the United States with a stern test in their 86-73 semi-final defeat at the North Greenwich Arena.

The Opals had lost to the US in the past three Olympic finals but they had led 47-43 at half-time in London and appeared on the brink of what would have been a stunning upset victory.

But the class and experience of the US came to the fore and the multiple gold medallists lifted a gear to carry a six-point lead into the final term, before icing the win and moving through to the gold medal play-off.

Liz Cambage proved to be a thorn in the side for the US, scoring a game-high 19 points for the Opals, while Lauren Jackson provided 14 points and 17 rebounds.

The Opals will face off against either France or Russia in the bronze medal game.