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U.S. women’s basketball beats Australia, into World Championships final

Tina Charles

USA’s Tina Charles (C) challenges Australia’s Natalie Burton (R) and Penny Taylor (L) during the 2014 FIBA Women’s World Championship semi-final basketball match between Australia and USA at the Fenerbahce Ulker Sports Arena in Istanbul on October 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. women’s basketball team topped longtime rival Australia 82-70 on Saturday to make the World Championships gold-medal game in Istanbul on Sunday.

The U.S. will play Spain in the final Sunday at 2:15 p.m. ET. The winner clinches a berth in the 2016 Olympics.

Tina Charles (18 points, nine rebounds) and Maya Moore (16 points, five rebounds, five assists) paced the U.S. against Australia, which won Olympic silver behind the Americans in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and bronze in 2012.

Brittney Griner fouled out with six points in the fourth.

The U.S. led by 12 at the half. Australia outscored the U.S. in the third quarter and cut the deficit to six before the U.S. pulled away. The U.S. had won its previous four games in Turkey by at least 20 points.

Australia played without its top two players from the London Olympics, Lauren Jackson and Liz Cambage, who missed the World Championships due to injuries.

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