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U.S. Shows Versatility in Rolling Past Greece

August 26, 2004|From Associated Press

ATHENS — One game it's Lisa Leslie, another it's Tina Thompson or Diana Taurasi. Even the player they call Pee Wee can't be ignored.

"There are so many players who can step up," Leslie said. "You never know who's going to shine."

Shannon Johnson took her turn Wednesday. The 5-foot-7 guard who goes by the nickname Pee Wee scored 21 points and the U.S. women's basketball team reached the semifinals with a 102-72 victory over Greece, which had heart, the home court and little else.

It was the first starring appearance for Johnson, who had scored only 12 points in the first five games. And no one seemed to mind.

"We're like an orchestra and no one has any particular solos," Leslie said. "We just make very good music."

The U.S. women will renew their longtime rivalry with Russia in Friday's semifinals, a rematch of the 2002 world championships final won, 79-74, by the U.S.

Russia advanced with a 70-49 victory over the Czech Republic.

Australia will play Brazil in the other semifinal. Australia beat New Zealand for the 23rd straight time, 94-55, and Brazil advanced with a 67-63 victory over Spain.

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