US women’s basketball on their way to gold after victory over Serbia

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Sue Bird dribbles the ball during a match against Serbia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on August 6, 2021 in Saitama, Japan.

It won’t go down as one of the greatest victories in the history of the American women’s basketball team, but it has put the Americans on the brink of history.

Brittney Griner had 15 points and 12 rebounds as the top-ranked United States defeated eighth-placed Serbia 79-59 on Friday in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Americans, winners of 54 Olympic Games consecutive, will return to Saitama Super. Arena and aim for a seventh straight gold medal on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. Sunday in Japan) against host France or Japan.

Winning a seventh straight gold medal would tie the streak for the United States men’s basketball team (1936-1968) that began with the sport’s debut at the Olympics.

In addition, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird will be aiming for their fifth gold medal, which would break the tie with fellow American Teresa Edwards (1984-2000), for the most gold in basketball – male or female. – in Olympic history. Edwards also won a bronze medal.

Chelsea Gray added 14 points and Breanna Stewart 12 for the United States, who have won eight gold medals in the 10 Olympics they have competed in. Yvonne Anderson led the Serbs with 15 points.

After winning a bronze medal in their first appearance at the Olympics in 2016, Serbia took a 4-3 lead to start the game. That’s when the United States kicked off and went on a 21-9 streak to end the first quarter with a 25-12 lead. The score was balanced early on, with Stewart scoring six points and Bird, generally unscored, adding five.

In the second quarter, the American offensive stalled. After getting 10 of 18 (55.6%) in the first quarter, the United States only made six baskets (of 12 shots) in the second quarter. But the American defense continued to stifle the Serbs, who shot only 27.8% (10 of 36) in the first half, including 1 for 11 at 3 points. This combination allowed the United States to take a 41-23 at halftime.

Bird, who has collected 18 points in his previous four games, followed a nine-point effort in the quarter-finals with eight points in the first half against Serbia.

Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games? Visit TeamUSA.org/Tokyo2020 for the medal table, results and competition schedule.


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