The French team was game, but ultimately Candace Parker and Team USA blew the doors off. They didn't have to contend with a force like Liz Cambage in the middle, and their athleticism trumped France's effort. Team USA claimed their fifth-straight gold in the event with a 86-50 victory.
Team USA was not sharp offensively, but the defense and transition offense was the deciding factor. They shot under 40 percent from the field in the first half, but they held France to 28 percent shooting overall and used a 20-1 run in the third quarter to blow France away.
Parker was the star this game with 21 points and 11 rebounds. But the Americans have had a different player step up throughout the Olympics.
After a scare in the semifinals against Australia, the gold medal belongs to Team USA again.
USA Basketball gives us these two updates touching on the Americans' balanced scoring at the outset.
After 1st Q: USA 20, FRA 15; 8 players have scored, including 4 pts each from Charles & Parker. Go USA! Gold Medal Game!— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 11, 2012
But soon, Candace Parker began to take over the game. She finished the first half with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Candace Parker just got her 12th point to put the USA up 32-23 in the gold medal game vs. FRA w 3:15 to go before... fb.me/1zn9a2Am8— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 11, 2012
Carmelita Jeter was watching the lopsided gold-medal game reminiscing about her basketball days. She probably could have played at a high level, but the world couldn't have taken another world-class athlete on the American side.
Its crazy watching this game i always thought i would be at the Olympics playing Basketball, crazy how God moves. #LONDON2012— Carmelita Jeter (@CarmelitaJeter) August 11, 2012
Grades For Key Team USA Players
Candace Parker: A+
Parker was dominant in the first half. She set the tone before Team USA found themselves on offense.
She was aggressive on the glass and in taking the ball to the basket. When it was still a competitive game, she was the driving force.
Diana Taurasi: B
She didn't shoot it great from the field, but her passing was key in the third quarter. She helped create easy baskets in the deciding quarter. She had seven assists and nine points in her own right.
Grades For Key France Players
Sandrine Gruda: B
She didn't have a huge game, but she was the only French player to have any success on the inside. Gruda finished with 12 points and four rebounds.
Celine Dumerc: F
Very disappointing. She is France's best player, but she was broken from the field. Her mad drives to the basket turned into turnovers or missed buckets.
She had eight points and three assists on 2-of-10 shooting. France would not have won this game either way, but a strong performance from Dumerc could have made the game more interesting.
There's nothing left but the podium for the Americans. As great as the men's teams has been, the American women are the most dominant program in the Olympics in the last 20 years.
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