Trailing Spain 82-80 with time running out, Turkey’s Lara Sanders made a game-tying layup with four seconds remaining Tuesday in the women's Olympic basketball tournament. Their quarterfinal match looked destined for overtime. But, Spain’s Anna Cruz had other designs in mind.
Cruz received the inbound pass and sprinted up the floor, firing off a running 20-foot jumper that found nothing but net to win the game.
Spain had trailed 60-52 with 3:45 remaining, but rattled off an 8-0 run in ensuing two minutes and 35 seconds to even the score. An Alba Torrens jumper put Spain up 62-60 with 36 seconds remaining.
The back-and-forth finish wasn’t all that surprising as the two teams traded runs all game. Spain looked dominant in the second, holding Turkey to just eight points, but the Turks found their offensive touch in the third, responding with a 22 point quarter.
Spain spread their offensive production around with four players scoring in double digits, with the would-be hero Cruz leading the way with 14 points.
Sanders had 22 points and 10 rebounds for a Turkish team with just two players in double figures.
The buzzer-beater sends Spain to the semifinals where they will play Serbia on Thursday. The winner of that game is assured of bringing home its first Olympic medal in women’s basketball.
The Spaniards entered the game as slight favorites after going 4-1 in pool play and grabbing the second seed in Group B. Turkey was 3-2 in the preliminary round and the third seed in Group A.