USA women's throttle Australia, earn semifinal birth
Updated: Aug 8
Team USA women's basketball looked completely alive in their 79-55 win over the Australian Opals.
Throughout the entirety of the Olympics so far, USA didn't look like the dominant, star power, powerhouse team that the world views them as.
Against Australia, they looked like a completely revamped team.
Flashback to Las Vegas when these two teams faced each other in exhibition.
USA had a comfortable lead throughout the game until an Opals comeback gave the United States a rare loss.
Some could say that this game for the USA is like a revenge game. With the importance of this quarterfinal matchup and the opportunity to contend for a medal on the line, adjustments had to be made to beat a very dominant Opals squad.
Here are a few takeaways from Team USA's win:
As I've said before, Coach Staley needed to learn how to utilize her deep rotation and substitute her starters more often. The wear and tear throughout the first few games from some of their starters getting pretty obvious. Staley substituted early and often. Ariel Atkins and Skylar Diggins-Smith saw their minutes increase exponentially. Breanna Stewart played for a little over 23 minutes, less time than her average of 36 minutes throughout the games before, but was still dominant.
With the bench being utilized more and rotations being adjusted, USA found a way to finally click and make it work. Bird found her shooting touch again, recording nine points. Stewart and Brittney Griner continued their domination. Stewart recorded 23 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a remarkable block to forces an Opal shot clock violation. Griner recorded 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
USA's defense looked extremely scary. As a team, they recorded 36 rebounds, 10 steals and 5 blocks. They also forced a total of 21 turnovers.
If this is the Team USA that shows up in a few hours in the semifinals game against Serbia, everyone better watch out. USA proved they're still strong and can fight with everyone and anyone.