US win six consecutive women's basketball Olympic gold medal

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/8/21 6:55:02

The United States won the women's basketball gold medal for the sixth consecutive time after beating Spain 101-72 at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games here on Saturday.

The US wrapped another lopsided game for their 48 straight Olympic wins since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Dated back to the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Team USA won eight gold medals out of nine Olympic outings except the 1992 Barcelona Games, when they finished the third.

Spain, which won the first Olympic medal after earning a berth through a qualifying tournament, played a brave first quarter to lead several times before the US called it 21-17.

Lucila Pascua of Spain said, "For me it's everything. This is the most important day in my sporting life because I've been for 15 years on the national team and this is my third Olympic Games. To be on this podium and have this silver medal for me is everything."

The suffocated defence proved the key for success as the Americans extended the lead to double digits when they kept rotating the squad to build up the pressure on both ends.

The US won all eight games by an average margin of 37.3 points in Rio.

Leading 49-32 at the break, the US easily dug an over 20-point hole for Spain by 56-34 two minutes into the third quarter. With experience and depth of the bench, the victory was beyond doubt for the US at that time.

Tamika Catchings said, "It is amazing, it's a blessing and a dream come true. One thing I've talked about is how amazing this group of ladies has been. Standing on that podium, looking to the left, looking to the right, for a month this has been my family. I get up and I'm so excited to get to practice, just being excited for being with them, on and off the court."

Diana Taorasi and Lindsay Whalen led the US by 17 points each with five Americans scoring by double-digit numbers. Alba Torrens scored 18 points for Spain.

US coach Geno Auriemma said, "You're around Sue (Bird) and Diana and Tamika and you know that this will be their last (Olympic Games) and you can send them out, like graduating seniors back home. The lateral motions running through our team, through our locker room, it's just remarkable the way they came together in such a short period of time."

The US bench, as usual, scored 55 points to beat their opponents' 23.

Auriemma said, "How can you play any better in a tournament? It would not be possible, even if you wrote it in a movie script you'd say that's not possible. She (Taorasi) just had a story book tournament that people will be talking about for a long time."

Posted in: Basketball, Olympics

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