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Charles spearheads Team USA's rout of France

Team USA exploded in the second half, after a close battle against Team France in the first half. Walking off the court with an 84-62 win, the team is one step closer to the Olympics on their road to Rio.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Newark, DE -- Team USA dominated France at the University of Delaware on their Road to Rio. Winning 84-62, Tina Charles led the team in scoring, netting 17 points.

"She [Tina Charles] is really good at scoring, and she's really good at using her body around the basket... She has done what a professional is supposed to do, and that is why she is where she is," said Team USA head coach Geno Auriemma.

Team USA took off, starting the game with three straight baskets against Team France. Both teams stayed close, battling back and forth during the first quarter, but Team USA managed to stay ahead despite two huge steals for Team France that tied the score up at 15-15 with a little over two minutes to go.

But USA's Diana Taurasi made sure that tie did not last long, scoring a three-pointer, followed by two more from her from the free throw line.

The first quarter ended with Team USA ahead 20-17 over Team France.

In the second quarter, both teams remained scoreless for almost two minutes, until the drought was ended by France's Endy Miyem, who moved them within one point of Team USA on the scoreboard, 21-20. However, both teams continued to struggle scoring throughout the second quarter.

A baseline inbound pass led to a basket from Tina Charles, putting Team USA up 28-23. Nevertheless, France continued to fight, gaining its first lead of the game with one minute left until halftime until a field goal from Maya Moore allowed Team USA to grab their lead back, ending the first half up by one, 32-31.

For Team USA in the second half, Tina Charles had two points right out of the gate. Moore followed Charles' points with a three-pointer, inching Team USA further away from France, as their lead went from one to seven in less than two minutes.

As their lead expanded, Team USA went on a 4-0 run making the score 41-33. France managed to score sporadically in the third, but they had trouble handling Team USA's tight defense and fast-paced offense.

Auriemma stated, "We have so many good players that it takes us a little time to get our barrings. We came out in the second half, and our game was a lot more aggressive."

Moore continued to be the standout player in the third quarter, scoring four points back-to-back.  Angel McCoughtry followed up for Team USA, grabbing three on an and-one play.

Team USA broke away late in the third, taking their biggest lead of the night -€” 17 -€” making the score 63-46 going into the final quarter.

Speaking about their second half break away Taurasi said, "A couple mistakes here and a couple turnovers there and then you look up and their up. We took care of a couple details. France is a top team in the world, so we still need that confidence and today did that for us."

The fourth quarter completely belonged to Team USA, as they dominated the rest of the game allowing Team France to only score 16 compared to their 21 points to finish out the game. Auriemma felt so relaxed he took his starters out early in the third quarter, giving a chance for everyone on Team USA minutes. They cruised to an easy 84-62 victory.

"We've had a couple of hard practices. We are just coming together and trying to feel each other out," said Sylvia Fowles. "We pretty much have to feel what each other out and where we need to be at during points in time. Every game has gotten better so far, so we are just look to build up and up."

Leading scorers for Team USA were Charles with 17 points, followed by Moore with 13 and Elena Della Donne and Taurasi both with 10.

For France, Marine Johannes led the team with 13 and Endy Miyem had 10.

On the atmosphere, Moore said, "It was great. Very encouraging. A good way to continue to propel us forward to Rio to have a crowd like that be so enthusiastic to cheer us on as we were playing."

Team USA will face Canada on Friday.