LONDON – The names change, not the results. Just call the U.S. women's basketball team Olympic champion – again.
The Americans won their fifth straight gold medal Aug. 11, routing France 86-50 and putting more distance between themselves and the rest of the world heading into the 2016 Rio Games.
Candace Parker scored 21 points, including eight straight during the game-changing run in the second quarter as the U.S. won its 41st straight Olympic game.
This one was special.
The winning streak started in the bronze medal game in 1992. In that stretch, the Americans have won by nearly 30 points a game. Only one team has stayed within single digits of them, and they've lost just once in major international competitions, to Russia in the semifinals of the 2006 world championship.
With young stars Parker, Maya Moore and Tina Charles a big part of the success in London it doesn't look like the run will end anytime soon.
France, which came into the gold medal game unbeaten, stayed with the U.S. for the first 12 minutes before Parker took over. She scored eight straight points during a 13-2 run that gave the U.S. a 37-23 advantage. Twice the 6-foot-4 Parker grabbed the rebound on the defensive end and dribbled up through the defense scoring on the other.
While Parker – who also had 11 rebounds – was providing the offense, the Americans turned up their defense, holding France to just one basket over the final 7:25 of the half.
The U.S. led by 12 at the half and poured it on in the third quarter. France got within 41-31 but the U.S. scored 13 of the next 14 points any thoughts of a monumental upset were forgotten.