ISTANBUL -- Seimone Augustus and Diana Taurasi each scored 16 points to lead the U.S. women's basketball team to an 80-61 victory over Turkey on Sunday night in an exhibition game.
It was the final tuneup for the Americans before the Olympics start next weekend. The U.S. will train for two more days in Istanbul before heading to London on Wednesday.
Unlike the first three exhibition games that were easy routs, the U.S. struggled against its hosts. Buoyed by a spirited crowd, who booed and whistled every time the Americans touched the ball, Turkey hung tough with the top-ranked team in the world in the first meeting between the countries.
Turkey trailed 32-27 at the half and cut the deficit to one in the third quarter before the U.S. started to slowly pull away.
Playing in Turkey served as a bit of a homecoming for six of the U.S. players, who have competed in the country during the WNBA offseason in the winter. Augustus, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles and Tamika Catchings have played for Galatasaray while Angel McCoughtry suited up for rival Fenerbahce.
Leading 42-40, McCoughtry had a three-point play and Augustus added four points to make it 51-43 with 2:18 left in the third quarter. Turkey could only get within five the rest of the game.
The Turks were led by Quanitra Hollingsworth, who starred at VCU. The American born player naturalized to play for Turkey in May and scored 16 to lead the team.
The two Turkish clubs have one of the fiercest rivalries in women's basketball. Think Connecticut-Tennessee and magnify that by 100 according to Catchings, who received a stuffed bear from one of the Gala fans Saturday night before the Americans' rout of Croatia.
"It's a different level," said Catchings, who turned 33 on Saturday. "You grow up liking a team because of your heritage. They grow up diehard fans, they know the chants, they know everything. Going to another team is unthinkable."
Taurasi has done just that playing for both teams. She started with Fenerbahce before switching over to Galatasaray. Taurasi was playing for Fenerbahce in 2010 when she was provisional suspended for using a banned substance. The suspension was lifted nearly two months later when the lab that returned the positive test retracted its report.
When she returned to Turkey last season, she changed to rival Galatasaray.
While the Americans will be aiming for their fifth straight gold medal, Turkey will be playing in its first Olympics next week. The Turks qualified by beating Argentina in the final qualifying tournament they hosted last month.
The Americans open up their Olympic play on July 28 against Croatia. Turkey and the US are in the same pool and will play on Aug. 1.
Other teams in their group are China, Angola and the Czech Republic..