The women of Team USA came away with a 86-73 win in their semifinal game against Australia. It was a tough, close game that featured the Americans trailing at halftime, but they came through in the second half to come away with the win.
Both teams dominated the boards, something they both excel in. While it may seem strange for USA and Australia to both do well in terms of rebounding, it is true as the Americans grabbed 40 rebounds while Australia collected 39.
Despite the good defense and rebounding, Australia gave away the win by committing 20 turnovers and shooting 25.0% on threes. Team USA played defense well enough in the second half to hold the Australians to 26 points. This defense also led to 10 steals by the Americans. With better ball-handling and decision-making, Australia may have been able to upset Team USA. It is also likely that USA was just too mch to handle. Either way, the defense played by Team USA, along with Australia’s poor decisions, led to a gold medal match for the US.
In terms of struggles, Team USA committed 13 turnovers and shot 62.1% on free throws. Compared to Australia’s 20 turnovers, it does not seem as bad, but there could always be less, resulting in an easier win. It also always helps to take advantage of free throws. Shooting only 62.1% from the charity stripe is not acceptable, and more often than not, it will not be a percentage seen in the box score of the winning team.
Even so, Team USA came away with the win. the fact that they did struggle somewhat against Australia is good. It may not seem so, but it is not always good to be very dominant on a consistent basis. Being challenged made sure the Americans had the right mind set.
The women of Team USA will take on France on Saturday, August 11 at 3:00 PM CT/9:00 PM local in the gold medal match.