The USA women’s basketball team got off to a positive start at the Tokyo Olympics with an 81-72 win over Nigeria in their first game of the tournament. It certainly wasn’t always pretty, but they got the job done and ran their Olympics winning streak to an incredible 50 games in the process.
Nigeria’s full-court press and tenacity on the defensive end seemed to catch Team USA off guard early in the game. At the end of the first quarter, Nigeria led 20-17 and had forced eight American turnovers. Eventually, however, Team USA was able to adapt to the pressure, started working the ball inside and took full control. At one point in the second quarter, they ripped off a 23-0 run and built a double-digit lead at the break. While they got a little lackadaisical towards the end of the fourth quarter, Team USA was in full control for the entire second half, and was never in danger of losing the game.
Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson led the way for Team USA with 19 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in a dominant interior performance. Her frontcourt partner Brittney Griner added a double-double of her own with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Diana Taurasi was the only other player in double digits with 10 points.
50 straight Olympic wins
Dynasties are usually thought of in terms of club teams, but if you expand the discussion to the international level then there’s no question the USA women’s basketball team is one of the greatest of all time — in any sport, men or women’s. With their win over Nigeria on Tuesday, they extended their Olympics winning streak to an incredible 50 games.
It dates back to the bronze medal game of the 1992 Olympics, when they defeated Cuba. Since then, they’ve won six straight gold medals without dropping a single game, and are going for No. 7 in a row in Tokyo. If they get there, they’ll tie the USA men’s basketball team’s record of seven straight gold medals from 1936-1968.
Courtesy: CBS Sports