The U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team pushed their Olympic winning streak to 53 straight games as they routed Australia 79-55 at Saitama Super Arena on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals.
With the game tied 6-6, the Americans went on a 17-0 scoring run to blow the game open and the USA never looked back. Breanna Stewart had her best game in Tokyo, scoring 23 points with 10 of those coming in the first quarter.
“I think our players had a look in their eyes that they didn’t want to go home,” USA head coach Dawn Staley said. “They want to compete for a gold medal. This was a do-or-die situation, and it was great to see them just play with that energy and effort on both sides of the basketball.”
Brittney Griner added 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds and A’ja Wilson added 10 points and four rebounds. The Americans closed the first half on a 20-8 run and led the Aussies 47-28 at the break.
“It’s win or go home, and I think we’ve struggled a little bit with how we started in pool play games, and I wanted to make sure I came out aggressive on both ends of the court,” Stewart said.
Australia struggled from the opening tip but was led by Leilani Mitchell, who plays for the Washington Mystics, with 14 points and six assists.
With the victory, the Americans will now advance into the semifinals and are now two wins away from a gold medal. Their next opponent is Serbia, who has little history in the Olympics but can still be dangerous.
“I’m trying to get a gold medal, so I’ll do whatever,” Stewart said.