Q IS FOR QUARTERFINALS: FORMER RAM’S MEDAL CHASE IS ALIVE

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Quanitra Hollingsworth averaged 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds, while shooting .452 from the field, in five Group A contests for Turkey.

Is Quanitra Hollingsworth the savior of Turkish women’s basketball?

Hollingsworth, a 2009 VCU graduate, scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the second half to lead Turkey to a 70-65 win over Croatia Sunday in Olympic women’s basketball action in London. The win served as Turkey’s final tune-up before the quarterfinal round.

Aided by Hollingsworth’s steady post presence, the Turks finished 4-1 in Group A and will meet Russia (2-3) Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the quarters. That game will be broadcast on the NBC Olympic Basketball Channel. The winner meets either France (5-0) or the Czech Republic (2-3) in Thursday’s semifinals.

Prior to the London Games, Turkey had never qualified for the Olympics in women’s basketball. Now, the Turks – and Hollingsworth – are just two wins away from a medal.

Hollingsworth, a Chesapeake, Va. native and recently naturalized Turkish citizen, averaged 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in group play despite foul trouble.

The 6-foot-5 Hollingsworth is the second former VCU student-athlete to reach the quarterfinal round at these London Games. Hayley Moorwood, who played women’s soccer for the Rams in 2005, advanced to the quarters with her native New Zealand last week. New Zealand lost 2-0 to the United States to end Moorwood’s medal hopes.

Yann Bonato is the only former Ram known to have medaled in the Olympics. Bonato, who played men’s basketball at VCU during the 1990-91 season, earned a silver medal with France at the 2000 Sydney Games.

OLYMPICS UPDATE; ONE RAM UP, ONE DOWN

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Quanitra Hollingsworth, a 2009 VCU graduate, has averaged 9.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in two games – both victories – for Turkey at the Olympics.

Quanitra Hollingsworth’s Olympic experience is off to a great start, while Hayley Moorwood’s time in London has been met with heartbreak.

Hollingsworth, who is suiting up for the Turkish women’s basketball team in London, scored eight points and grabbed one rebound while battling foul trouble in a 61-57 win over the Czech Republic Monday morning.

The victory was a significant one. The Czechs were ranked No. 4 in FIBA’s World Rankings and the victory improved Turkey to 2-0 in Group A action. Turkey defeated Angola in its Olympic opener Saturday. The Turks may have punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with Monday’s win. At the last two Olympic Games, two victories was enough to earn a spot in the elimination round. Canada in 2000 was the last team with a 2-3 record in group play to fail to advance to the quarters.

So, although Hollingsworth has more fouls (9) than rebounds (5) so far, Turkey is in great shape. If she can stay out of foul trouble, the Turks can really make some noise.

Next up for Hollingsworth and Turkey is a contest the United States – the heavy gold medal favorites – Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. (EST). That game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus), as well as the NBC Olympic Basketball Channel.

Women’s Basketball: Group Standings

For Moorwood, the Olympics have not gone as well. In women’s soccer competition, Moorwood and New Zealand suffered their second 1-0 loss at these games Saturday, this time to Brazil. New Zealand battled favored Brazil for most of Saturday’s contest, only to fall on a goal scored in the 86th minute.

New Zealand is now 0-2 and likely out of contention for a quarterfinal spot. Moorwood and New Zealand will meet Cameroon Tuesday at 12:45 (EST) in what will likely be their final match in London.

Women’s Soccer: Group Standings

HOLLINGSWORTH, TURKEY LOCK UP OLYMPIC BID

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Former VCU star Quanitra Hollingsworth averaged 11.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games to help Turkey to its first-ever Olympic bid.

ANKARA, Turkey – It’s official. Former VCU star Quanitra Hollingsworth and Turkey are headed to the 2012 London Olympics.

Hollingsworth scored 12 points and added eight rebounds in Turkey’s 72-58 win over Argentina Friday in the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament Quarterfinals to send the Turks to the Olympic Games for the first time.

In three games – all victories – Hollingsworth has averaged 11.7 points and 6.3 rebounds for Turkey. The Turks advance to the tournament semifinals on Sunday, but it’s essentially academic. Turkey has already locked up one of five Olympic bid available in Ankara.

Hollingsworth, who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Turkey, will be one of two Rams to participate in the Olympics in recent years. Hayley Moorwood was a member of New Zealand’s women’s soccer squad at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China.

A member of the WNBA’s New York Liberty, Hollingsworth starred at VCU from 2005-09 and led the Rams to their first NCAA Tournament bid in 2009. Hollingsworth ranks third in school history in points and is second in rebounds and double-doubles.

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