LONDON – The U.S. women’s basketball team, evoking memories of the men’s Dream Team of 1992, put on a hoops masterclass in routing African champions Angola 90-38 at the Olympics on Monday.
It took a little while for the Americans to get in synch, but once they did the reigning four-times Olympic champions put on a fastbreak show to extend their Games winning streak to 35 in a row.
The last time the U.S. women lost at an Olympics was 20 years ago in Barcelona when they came away with the bronze at the Games where the newly-invited NBA stars swept to the gold beginning with a 116-48 romp over Angola’s men’s team.
“It’s important that in a game where you know that there is that disparity, that you just do the things you need to do to be a better team,” U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said.
Candace Parker led a balanced U.S. attack with 14 points on Monday while Sonia Guadalupe was top scorer for Angola with 11 points as they lost again in their second outing.
Angola coach Anibal Moreira, who played with the men’s squad that faced the U.S. Dream Team in Barcelona, said he wanted his players to have fun.
“We decided we wanted just to enjoy the game, because of the difference between the standard of the U.S. team and ourselves,” he said.
“We feel a lot of pride in being able to have the opportunity to play against such a team, who are the idols of many of our players. We hoped to get to 50 points but we didn’t quite make it.”
The game ended the second day of competition in the women’s tournament, with France’s stirring 74-70 overtime upset of Australia the highlight of the day. That gave the French a 2-0 record while dropping triple silver medallists Australia to 1-1.
Britain (0-2) had the Olympic Basketball Arena rocking with support from the home crowd for most of the game before they faded at the end to lose 73-65 against Canada (1-1).
China improved to a 2-0 record with an easy 83-58 win against Croatia; Russia (2-0) won 69-59 against Brazil (0-2), and Turkey (2-0) won 61-57 over the Czech Republic (0-2).