Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—The Serbian side had plenty of talent, but the USA Women’s Basketball team handed Serbia (0-3) their third loss in Game 8 of the preliminary round at Youth Arena.
“The thing about it is, it might look like a big score, a big margin, but it doesn’t feel like it. Those games are hard. The scoreboard just looks differently,” U.S. player Angel McCoughtry.
U.S. outscored their previous opponents, Senegal and Spain, 224-119, as their win against Senegal (121-56) was the widest scoring margin in Olympic history. On the note of breaking records, Diana Taurasi broke her own record and American Olympic record with six three-pointers in one game.
USA head coach Geno Auriemma commented, “Usually Diana doesn’t assert herself like she has in the first three games. She’s usually waiting for the game to come to her, get everybody else involved. And these first three games of the tournament, she’s just come out and taken over right from the beginning.”
Maya Moore attacked right from the opening tip with a layup, but Danielle Page responded with a two-point basket, as Serbia struggled to keep up with Team USA’s momentum. Team USA’s distribution of the ball gave them a significant lead, but Serbia’s defense was energized after four minutes of play, trailing one-point (14-13).
With Serbia’s Page and Sonja Petrovic on the bench due to foul trouble, Taurasi, veteran guard of the Phoenix Mercury, scored 16-points, as the U.S. extended their lead to 10-points, 31-21.
The second quarter turned out to be a three-point party, as players from both teams were invited. Taurasi had 22-points and five three-pointers in the first half, as Page continued to drain three-pointers for Serbia.
Team USA’s only blemishes in the first half were 11 turnovers and a fist full of steals for Serbia. U.S. dominance began to shine through their white uniforms, as they separated themselves from Serbia with a 22-point lead to polish off the first half.
History was made in the third quarter, as Taurasi hit her sixth three-pointer of the game and broke her own record and American Olympic record. And wait, Taurasi also led both team rosters with 25-points, as Team USA’s had their largest lead of 23 points (84-61) heading into the final quarter.
Serbia’s bench headed to the floor, as Team USA tighten up their defense in the fourth quarter. But the unselfishness of team U.S. led to more turnovers, as Team USA turned up the pressure with defense plays.
With five players in double digits, Breanna Stewart, Tina Charles, Angel McCoughtry, Moore and Taurasi, had a combined 80-points. And for Serbia, the Dabovic sisters were held off, as Page, Jelena Milovanovic, and Sonja Petrovic complemented each other with a combined 45-points.
The USA Women’s Basketball team defeated Serbia by a 26-point margin (110-84), but U.S. let up 84-points on defense, which was out of character after scoring an average of 50-points higher than their opponents.
The U.S. Women’s Basketball team will face Canada in the next preliminary round on Friday, August 12, at 2:30 ET.