Staley and USA to Play for Gold Saturday
Aug. 18, 2016
COLUMBIA ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley and USA Basketball overcame a tight first half to post an 86-67 win over France to advance to the gold medal game in the 2016 Rio Olympics on Saturday. The Americans are eyeing their sixth-straight gold medal and will face Spain, looking for its first women’s basketball Olympic medal, at 2:30 p.m. (ET).
The difference in the game came in the third quarter after the United States took a narrow 40-36 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, the Americans locked in on their goal on both ends of the floor, outscoring the French 25-8 in the period. The U.S. shot 10-of-18 from the field out of the break while holding France to just three field goals on 10 attempts in the decisive 10 minutes. The French out-scored the Americans in the fourth quarter, but the 65-44 deficit entering the period was too much to overcome.
The United States advanced to its sixth-straight gold medal game and eighth overall in the last nine Olympics in which it has competed. The Americans have won every gold medal since the 1996 Olympics in Athens, a team that featured Staley at point guard. The Gamecocks’ head coach won two other gold medals as a player during the stretch and was an assistant coach on the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold-medal team.
Spain will play in its first gold medal game after topping Serbia 68-54 earlier Thursday afternoon. The Serbs posted the tournament’s key upset in knocking off Australia in the quarterfinals and will take on France in the bronze medal game Saturday morning.
Full game recap from USA Basketball available here.