Team USA Women’s Basketball to Play for Gold After Semi-Final Victory

By Lorenz Duchamps
Lorenz Duchamps
Lorenz Duchamps
August 6, 2021 Updated: August 6, 2021

The U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team is dominating this year’s event once again and is one victory away from a seventh-straight gold medal at the Tokyo Games after the team defeated Serbia in the semi-finals.

Brittney Griner of Texas and Breanna Stewart of New York had a double-double that helped Team USA in beating the Serbians 79-59 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan on Friday.

Serbia didn’t have a good matchup for Griner, who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Americans in the game, while Stewart added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“When you look back at the games, you don’t really remember who did what, what did what, who had how many points,” said Griner, who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and was on the Olympic championship team of 2016.

“You just remember having fun with everybody and just getting gold,” she added.

usa.vs.serbia
USA’s Breanna Stewart (C) dribbles the ball past Serbia’s Yvonne Anderson (L) and USA’s Jewell Loyd in the women’s semi-final basketball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Aug. 6, 2021. (Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images)

Team USA’s next goal is going for a seventh-straight gold medal on Sunday against the winner of a playoff between the French women’s team and host nation Japan, making their first-ever appearance in the Olympic semifinals.

“This is exactly where we want to be,” Stewart told reporters after the game. “Everything is on the line. We’re going to do what we can to make sure we come home with a gold.”

The U.S. women’s team is now one victory away from matching the U.S. men’s team, which has also won seven Olympic titles in a row from 1936-68.

American coach Dawn Staley, who is also a basketball Hall of Fame player, said after the win over Serbia in the semifinals that today’s game wasn’t the team’s best overall performance, though they did do a “tremendous job defensively.”

“Offensively, I just thought we put enough points on the scoreboard to win,” Staley said. “It wasn’t as clean and fluid as we would like, but at this stage of the game, you’re going to have to win a lot of different ways, and we found a way to win.”

On Thursday, the U.S. men’s team defeated Australia in the semi-finals 97–78 after breaking the game open in the third quarter. They will face France in the gold medal match, which will take place on the night of Aug. 6. France beat the United States in group play.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Lorenz Duchamps
Lorenz Duchamps