Basketball: U.S. rolls past Spain to win sixth straight gold

Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:37pm EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The United States women's basketball team thumped Spain 101-72 to claim a sixth straight gold medal on Saturday to rubber-stamp their credentials as one of the greatest Olympic sporting dynasties of all time.

After a sloppy start that saw Spain lead much of the opening quarter, the U.S. finally settled into their familiar rhythm, turning a 10-0 run into a 17-point halftime lead.

From then on there was no way back for Spain as the U.S. extended their Olympic winning streak to a staggering 49-0.

Only two other teams can claim such a run of domination in an Olympic team sport.

The U.S. men's basketball team earned seven consecutive gold medals from 1936-1968 while India claimed six-straight men's field hockey titles from 1928-1956.

"It's mind boggling when you think about it what this team has been able to accomplish, this program," said U.S. coach Geno Auriemma. "There is such a level of expectation, such a level of respect and it filters down. Everyone who puts that jersey on they get it. We're doing stuff that may never be done again."

For Spain, the silver was their first medal in Olympic women's basketball.

Earlier, Serbia beat France 70-63 in the bronze medal game.   Continued...

 
2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Final - Women's Gold Medal Game USA v Spain - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 20/8/2016. Team USA players celebrate. REUTERS/Jim Young