US women's basketball team wins 6th straight Olympic Gold medal
Aug 22, 2016, 00:39
"I feel so privileged to have those leaders ahead of me, to watch them, play alongside them, to just learn so that in the future when I'm in moments where leadership is needed, I can call on memories I've had with them".
Even though this gold-medal winning team features some of the best individual talent in basketball history, like Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Brittney Griner, and Elena Delle Donne--the reigning WNBA MVP who comes off the bench here--the Americans still play an appealing, unselfish style. Whalen finished the game with 17 points, tied for the team lead with Taurasi. A Stewart layup was answered by Spain but two Moore hoops made it 41-26.
By the time Lindsay Whalen's layup just beat the halftime buzzer, the US led 49-32 and Spain had just two baskets in the final 6 minutes, 55 seconds of the half. Five of the United States' last six games have gone OVER this total, including a 94-91 win over Serbia during the group stage. She grabbed a defensive board and played for seven minutes, the fewest on the team, as usual for this tournament. They have raised standards in nearly every way, making them nearly unreachable, what with their 49th consecutive Olympic victory.
"Based on this game and also the previous game against the United States, I think we can hope we are going to match up pretty good", said Serb center Miroslav Raduljica.
"But we've still got a medal to get and we haven't done that before so to drop our bundle now wouldn't be like this team". And that takes a certain character of team and individuals.
To Auriemma, there's an unfair implication that a dominant men's team would never be asked to defend themselves in the same way. Taurasi, who had a stellar Olympics for the USA finished with 17 points, including five 3-pointers. Spain also won the silver as the 2014 FIBA world championships, losing to Team USA, It will host the 2018 world championships. She is retiring at the end of the WNBA season. She added five more against Spain to finish the tournament with an all-time Olympic mark of 33 triples in a single tournament. The team shot 57.5 percent from the field, including 43.4 percent from 3-point range.
"It wasn't as easy as, sometimes, it looked", Auriemma said. There is such a level of expectation, there's such a level of respect for the people at the very top.
It's not like Matthew Centrowitz was considered a non-factor entering the 1,500 meters final Saturday night.
"We just try to do as well as we can and pass it on, kind of just the culture and the way we approach every game".
That's quite a compliment because Bird has been playing for the U.S. National Team since 2002 and this is her fourth Olympic gold medal.
While the United States advancing to the gold medal game shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, Serbia's advancing to this point is definitely the story of the tournament.
He was relatively quiet scoring wise in the second half, but his stellar defense on a number of players was invaluable in a game in which coach Mike Krzyzewski tilted toward defense with his rotations due to so many shooters having difficulties.
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To think what I've done, its been an unbelievable experience and I don't think I could be more proud of myself", Biles added. She is arguably the most internationally famous of the U.S. "final five", the country's team of gold medal winners.
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