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São Paulo
20 September 2006
Game Report, United States vs Lithuania 90-56 - Quarter-finals

São Paulo / Brazil - New United States superstar Candace Parker helped fire the Americans past Lithuania on Wednesday evening and into a semi-final showdown against Russia.

Parker, whose versatility allows her to play at forward, center and guard, poured in 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.

The two blocks have given her 12 for the tournament - a new US record.

She surpassed the previous high at a FIBA World Championship for Women that was set in 1990 by Katrina McClain.

"I think defense throughout my career at Tennessee and in the past with USA Basketball could have been better and it's something I've tried to focus on here at the World Championship and just give our guards confidence that I'm going to be behind them to help them when they get beat," said Parker.

"It means a lot. It means my defense is improving and its an honor."

The Baltic country made it interesting for a while but a 17-0 American run bridging the first and second quarters saw the Americans take control for good.

The US will be heavy favourites on Thursday against Russia, the side they beat in the finals of the last two FIBA World Championships in Germany and China.

Russia have lost three times in Brazil and they almost suffered a fourth defeat on Wednesday before winning a 60-56 thriller against Spain to reach the last four.

"We watched that game with great interest today and they pulled out a close game," Donovan said.

"They’re playing much better it seems this morning than they did in the pool play so we’re expecting Russia to step it up a notch.

"It’s their pattern, it’s what we’ve talked about all along. Once they get to the medal round, they seem to take it to a different level. We’re expecting a great match-up."

The United States beat the Russians in the semi-finals of the Olympics two years ago.

In their game against Lithuania, the US players trailed 13-8 with 6:41 to play in the first period but then asserted themselves took over and by the end of the quarter held a 27-26 advantage.

The United States had a 48-32 stranglehold on the contest by half-time.

Donovan's team outscored the Lithuanians 21-4 in the third quarter to put the result beyond doubt.

Tina Thompson had 15 points and Katie Smith 10 for the United States.

By PA Sport
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