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U.S. Women's Basketball Team Cruises To Gold, 49th Straight Olympic Win

U.S. basketball player Diana Taurasi (right), leaps into the arms of teammate Angel McCoughtry as they celebrate their 101-72 win over Spain in the gold medal game on Saturday.
Eric Gay

The U.S. women's basketball team trounced Spain, 101-72, on Saturday, winning their sixth consecutive gold and their 49th straight Olympic game.

The American women so overpowered their opponents that the tournament was almost certainly the least competitive event at the Rio games, which end on Sunday.

The average margin of victory for the U.S. in their Olympic games was nearly 40 points, and the closest game was a 19-point victory over France in the semifinals. Since 1996, the American have only had one game where they won by fewer than 10 points.

In the gold medal game, the U.S. jumped ahead early and led 49-32 at the half behind a balanced attack. All 11 Americans who played in the first half scored.

The Americans, who beat Spain by 40 points earlier in the tournament, steadily expanded their lead throughout the second half.

Diana Taurasi had 17 points, most on long-range shots, and point guard Lindsay Whalen added 17 as well to go with six assists. Maya Moore had 14.

Taurasi, Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings each won their fourth gold medal.

Basketball is a leading example of the powerhouse that U.S. women have become at the Olympics. The Americans are far ahead in the overall medal count in Rio, and the U.S. women have accounted for more than half the U.S. medals. They did the same thing in London four years ago.

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Greg Myre is a national security correspondent with a focus on the intelligence community, a position that follows his many years as a foreign correspondent covering conflicts around the globe.
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