Powered by stout defense and a balanced attack in which WNBA superstars Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart and Chelsea Gray each scored double digits, the U.S. women’s basketball team will advance to the gold-medal game after putting the beats on Serbia, per Reuters.
While much has been said about the dominance of the U.S. men’s basketball team throughout the years, the women’s 79-59 victory on Friday was the team’s 54th straight win at the Games and puts the women’s team in the a position to win their 7th consecutive Olympic gold medal on Saturday—a feat their male counterparts have yet to accomplish.
“I think since we entered the knockout rounds, we’ve come to each game with a little more focus,” WNBA legend Sue Bird told ESPN. “So you’re seeing the results. And most of it is starting on the defensive end, and we’re just carrying that with us onto the offensive end.”
She added, “As usual, with USA Basketball, when we come together, we try to get on a path where we’re just getting better and better every day on the journey. I still think there’s another level we can get to and I hope that’s what happens in [the gold-medal game].”
Next up, Team USA will face off against either France or Japan, who’re making their first appearance ever in the Olympic semifinals. But with a loaded roster that includes grizzled veterans (Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are both five-time Olympians) in addition to new blood (A’ja Wilson is one of six players competing in the Olympics for the first time), expect Team USA to dispatch whichever opponent is unfortunate enough to stand between the United States and Olympic gold.
“You see how much talent they have,” Serbian team captain Jalena Brooks said after her team’s loss. “I mean those are the best players in the world.”
Congrats, ladies! Now bring home the gold.