The South Korean women’s basketball team lost to Japan and failed to reach the final of the Hangzhou Asian Games.
South Korea lost to Japan 81-58 in the women’s basketball quarterfinals of the Games at the 텍사스홀덤 Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, today (March 3).
The loss means South Korea will play North Korea for the bronze medal at 5 p.m. ET on Friday.
South Korea and North Korea met once before in the group stage of the tournament, with South Korea winning 81-62.
Japan is a recent world-class performer, having won a silver medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
In the FIBA world rankings, Japan is ranked 9th and South Korea is ranked 13th.
Unlike the men’s basketball team, where Japan virtually fielded a second team, the women’s team brought back seven of the 12 players from the silver medal team at the Tokyo Olympics to the Asian Games.
Down 20-15 after the first quarter, South Korea quickly found themselves down 29-15 after Japan hit three straight 3-pointers to start the second quarter.
Japan went on to extend the lead to 33-15 on a two-point play by Hoshi Anri and an underneath basket by Akaho Himawari.
Korea went on a run and ended the half with a 40-33 lead.
At the start of the third quarter, Korea made a push to close the gap to five points, 40-35, on a mid-range shot by Park Ji-soo, but once again, Japan’s high-sensitivity three-point shooting put a damper on Korea’s momentum.
Maki Takada’s two baskets pushed Japan’s lead back to seven points, and then back-to-back three-pointers from Hayashi Saki and Takada gave Japan a 48-35 lead.
When Korea cut the lead to 50-41, Japan answered again, this time with two 3-pointers from mixed-race Nigerian player Okoye Monika and Saori Miyazaki to make it a 15-point game.
By the end of the third quarter, the three-pointers were evenly matched, with Japan making 10 and Korea two.
Early in the fourth quarter, Kim Dan-bi hit Korea’s third three-pointer of the day to cut the lead to 58-47, but Japan responded with another three-pointer from Takada.
Korea had 18 points and 9 rebounds on the day from Park Ji-soo and 13 points from Park Ji-hyun, but they were outrebounded 14-3 from three-point range and had twice as many turnovers (14-7) as Japan.