USA Olympic Women’s Basketball Team 3-0; Defeats Serbia

USA Olympic Women’s Basketball Team 3-0; Defeats Serbia

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Team USA/Rio Olympics
Team USA/Rio Olympics

Diana Taurasi threatened to break the single game U.S. Olympic three-point record in the United States’ first game of the Rio Olympic tournament when she tied her own record with five three-pointers.

In their third game, she tied her own record again with 6:14 left in the second quarter and with 8:44 remaining in the third, Taurasi broke the U.S. Olympic record with her sixth three in the game. Taurasi started the game four-of-five from behind the line.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continued their run of routs at the Rio Games, beating Serbia 110-84.

By halftime they led 22 with Taurasi leading all scorers with 22 points. She finished with 25 points, six assists and three rebounds.

Taurasi, who played sparingly in the second half, was one of just four players to log 20 minutes in the game as head coach Geno Auriemma spread the minutes around liberally.

Serbia, the 2015 EuroBasket champions, did their best to hang around with the perennial power. They received big performances from Sonja Petrovic, Jelena Milovanovic, and Danielle Page, who each scored 15 points. Petrovic plays with Taurasi for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

Making their first appearance in the Olympics since becoming an independent nation from Yugoslavia, Serbia was able to keep it closer than either of the previous two U.S. opponents. Their 26-point loss was the smallest margin of victory for the U.S. in the Olympics since beating Australia in the 2012 semifinal game by 13.

For the 44th straight time in the Olympics, the United States was just too much to handle for the opposition. In scoring 110 points, the U.S. became the first women’s team to break the century mark in three consecutive games.

WNBA/Rio 2016
WNBA/Rio 2016

Taurasi was one of five Americans in double figures, joined by Maya Moore (10), Tina Charles (15), Angel McCoughty (13) and Breanna Stewart (17).  An Olympic neophyte entering Rio, Stewart has nine or more points in each of her first three games.

For the second time in three games, every player on the United States scored. Serbia also had their full roster register point in the box score.

Even though they came away with the win, it was a sloppy one in U.S. standards as they committed more fouls and turnovers than Serbia.

The U.S. coaches will be sure to make that a point of emphasis in their next game when they take on Canada on Friday. Serbia will play China on Friday as well.

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