The United States women's basketball team is heading to its sixth straight Olympic gold medal game.
With a 86-67 win over France, the U.S. remained undefeated in the tournament and registered their 48th consecutive victory in Olympic play.
France played the U.S. tight for the first half and trailed by just four points at halftime.
In the third quarter the U.S. buckled down on defense, allowing only eight points in the period. France’s offensive stagnation coincided with an outpouring of points by the U.S., who scored 25 in the period and opened up a 21-point lead heading into the final frame.
France strung together a 10-0 run in the fourth, and at one point cut the U.S. lead to 13, but Maya Moore made back-to-back jumpers to quiet the run. Moore finished with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Diana Taurasi led the game in scoring with 18, to go along with four rebounds and four assists. She made three triples in the game – the second of which broke the Olympic record for most three-point field goals in a single Olympic tournament. South Korea’s Jun Eun Park previously held the record with 26; Taurasi has 28 with one game left to play.
Isabelle Yacoubou was the high-scorer for France with 14. Marine Johannes added 13, including two threes.
The U.S. suffered an offensive downtick due to Sue Bird missing the game with a knee sprain. The United States’ normally egalitarian attack was stymied slightly, as they only dished out 14 assists in the game – they were averaging 29.8 prior to the semifinal. Bird’s status is day to day.
Five U.S. starters scored in double digits: Moore, Taurasi, Seimone Augustus (10), Brittney Griner (10) and Sylvia Fowles (12).
The U.S. will play Spain on Saturday for a shot at their sixth straight Olympic title. Taurasi, Bird and Tamika Catchings are all going for their fourth straight gold medal.
France will play Serbia in the bronze medal game.