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Auriemma: 'We respected our opponents and we respected the game itself'
Following an 8-0 record in Rio, which saw their Olympic overall mark increase to 48-0 dating back to 1996, the Americans’ dominance in international stage became a topic of conversation, especially after they cruised past their opponents by a scoring average of 102 points per game.
The USA won their sixth straight Olympic gold medal
USA wins gold!— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 20, 2016
USA handily defeats Spain, 101-72, to win its 6th consecutive gold medal in women's basketball. pic.twitter.com/SfAUeh0kFV
How good is the USA success for international women’s basketball?
Geno Auriemma, the USA head coach, insists it could help other nations to improve their basketball programmes.
“If you took us out of this tournament, it would be an amazing tournament,” Auriemma said. “But unfortunately, we’re not going anywhere.”
“Obviously, it was an incredible tournament for us,” said Auriemma. “From the very first game that we played to our last game, with very few exceptions I thought we played basketball at a really high level.
“It wasn’t as easy as sometimes it looked, these last two games especially with France and against Spain. These are very good teams that we’re playing, and you could see that it wasn’t just a cakewalk, that it was a struggle. Then finally, because of our depth and because of the experience on our team, we were able to separate ourselves. But the way we played, we respected our opponents and we respected the game itself, we earned a lot of respect from a lot of people around the world, and I’m really proud of that.”
What an Olympic run for Tamika Catchings, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi. Four consecutive gold medals in women's hoops: https://t.co/sKp7678pmS— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) August 21, 2016
Meanwhile, with the prospect of Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and Tamika Catchings - a trio of four-time Olympic gold medallists - retiring from the national team, a new cycle is set to start for the USA. And the 2018 FIBA World Women’s Championship will test the Americans’ dominance again.