The USA are one win away from what many believe will be an expected sixth straight Olympic gold medal.
After a slow start, the USA women defeated a stubborn France side 86-67 in the semi-finals of the Olympic women’s basketball tournament.
All that stands between the USA and sixth consecutive gold medal is Spain. The two nations meet in Saturday’s finale at the Carioca Arena.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Americans though. In a rematch of the gold medal game from London 2012, the French attacked their all-conquering opponents and even though they only trailed the U.S. 50-46 at the half, it was a finely balanced contest.
Then the Americans woke up after a 15-minute break and held France to just eight points in the third quarter, as the USA went clear to put the game beyond doubt.
Diana Taurasi led the USA with 18 points and she now holds the Olympic women’s basketball record with 28 three-pointers in the tournament. She hit three triples from nine attempts.
The States will now face Spain in a rematch of the 2014 FIBA women’s world championship final. The two sides have also met during the group stages of the Olympic tournament. The U.S. won both games, comfortably.
France will play Serbia for the bronze on Saturday.