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China beats U.S. women curlers on last rock

Chinese curlers, left, shake hands with curlers from the United States after China defeated the United States Tuesday. At far right is Natalie Nicholson of Bemidji. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Reigning world champion China converted its final shot of the 10th end for the game-winning point, handing the U.S. women's curlers a 6-5 loss Tuesday.

Chinese skip Wang Bingyu's last rock was right on target. Her team bounced back after being thumped by Russia 7-4 in a shortened nine-end match Monday, sparking Canadian-bred coach Dan Rafael to say afterward he would step down once his contract expires June 30. He also said his team had no passion.

The Americans hung tough in their second-to-last Olympic match, but couldn't make enough big shots when it mattered. They were set to finish up against Switzerland on Tuesday night. Bemidji's Natalie Nicholson is a member of the U.S. team.