Behind the scoring of Olympic veteran Diana Taurasi and first-time Olympian Elena Delle Donne, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team closed out its exhibition tour with a 104-89 victory over Australia Sunday afternoon in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The Americans completed their pre-Rio tour undefeated in four games. Australia, ranked No. 2 in the world entering the Olympic tournament, lost for the first time after previous wins against Canada and France earlier in the week.
The teams played evenly through much of the first quarter, with Australia taking a six-point lead with 5:26 remaining on a Penny Taylor three-point goal that made the score 17-11. It would be the visitors’ largest lead. Delle Donne came off the bench for Tamika Catchings and promptly scored six unanswered points to level the game at 17. She scored 11 of her 19 points in the last 4:12 of the period to boost the U.S. to a 28-25 lead at the first break. Delle Donne was deadly from the field, hitting seven of her 10 attempts.
Download the Team USA app today for breaking news, 2016 U.S. Olympic Team bios, videos and more. The Americans added another three points to their lead by halftime, 54-48, then put the game away in the third quarter. Taurasi opened the period with back-to-back three pointers as she caught fire, scoring 14 of her team-high 20 points in the first six minutes of the second half. A balanced offensive effort saw five Americans reach double figures. Brittney Griner scored 15 points, while Maya Moore had 13 and Angel McCoughtry added 12. Three-time Olympian Sue Bird was the only U.S. player who did not score, but she matched Moore for the team leadership in assists with six. Moore also led the team with six rebounds as the Americans won the battle on the boards, 41-33.
Australia’s Elizabeth Cambage led all scorers with 22 points, while Leilani Mitchell added 18. Team USA now turns its attention to the Olympic tournament, where it will open pool play against Group B opponent Senegal at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 7. The U.S. women are seeking their sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal and enter the game riding an undefeated streak in Olympic play of 41 games, extending back to the bronze-medal game at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.