France was help to 15 or less points every quarter. Their overall shooting percentage was a very low 28.1%. USA clearly had an advantage on the defensive end. Their superior defense made winning an easier task than it should have been.
USA was not the only one who played though defense though. France held the Americans to 37 points in the first half, but Team USA made up for the lack of offense in the second half as they scored 49 points.
Even with the offensive troubles, defense is what got Team USA to the gold medal match. Defense is what got Team USA the gold medal. Without it, they would not have been the threat they were throughout the Olympics. The highest amount of points allowed by the Americans was in the semifinal game against Australia, 73 points. They even held Angola to a ridiculously small 38 points. As the Olympics progressed, the teams were not as easy to beat, but that never stopped the US from playing good defense on a consistent basis.
Often, it is said that defense wins championships. The women of the US proved that throughout their Olympic play, but in this case, they proved that defense wins gold medals.
Team USA has now won five straight gold medals in the Olympics. If they can play as they did in London at the 2016 Games, six straight gold medals is not out of the question.