U.S. women’s basketball team defeats Spain to win gold

Diana+Taurasi+moves+down+the+court+during+their+game+against+Spain+for+the+second+round+Group+B+in+Rio+2016+at+Youth+Arena+on+Aug.+8+in+Rio+de+Janeiro%2C+Brazil.+%28Rex+Shutterstock%2FZuma+Press%2FTNS%29

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Diana Taurasi moves down the court during their game against Spain for the second round Group B in Rio 2016 at Youth Arena on Aug. 8 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)

By Chris Hine | Chicago Tribune

RIO DE JANEIRO — There never was a doubt.

The U.S. women’s basketball team dominated on its way to a sixth consecutive gold medal, clinching its latest one with a 101-72 victory over Spain on Saturday.

The U.S. didn’t have to sweat on their path to the gold after defeating their opponents by an average of 37.3 points over eight games.

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Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings each collected their fourth gold medals, joining Lisa Leslie and Teresa Edwards as the only four-time gold medalists in basketball — men’s or women’s.

France guard Sarah Michel strips the ball from U.S. forward Tamika Catchings during second-half action in the women's basketball semifinal at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the Summer Olympics. The U.S. won, 86-67. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
France guard Sarah Michel strips the ball from U.S. forward Tamika Catchings during second-half action in the women’s basketball semifinal at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the Summer Olympics. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Bird returned from a sprained knee that kept her out of the semifinals to score three points.

Spain was within 27-24 early in the second quarter when the U.S. broke it open. Taurasi hit a pair of 3-pointers as the U.S. scored 16 of the next 19 points to take a 43-27 lead.

It only increased from there. Taurasi, who had a stellar Olympics for the U.S. finished with 17 points, including five 3-pointers.

Maya Moore, also a standout for the U.S. had 14 points, five rebounds and six assists.

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(c)2016 Chicago Tribune

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