The names of the US women’s basketball team have changed, the dominance remains.
Aja Wilson scored 19 points and Kelsey Plum added 17 for the United States, which defeated China 83–61 to win its fourth consecutive, and 11th overall, gold medal at the Women’s Basketball World Cup.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Wilson, who was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. “We came with a mission, we accomplished it. We got the gold. We come home with medals. Australia treated us wonderfully. I didn’t see any kangaroos, but that’s okay because we’re taking gold.” Huh.
It has been one of the most dominant teams in American World Cup history. He has won four consecutive gold medals for the first time. It is also the largest margin of victory in a gold medal match, having been over 20 the first two times for the Americans.
“Everyone wants to beat us. Everyone wants what we have, the gold medal and the win,” said Breanna Stewart.
What began with Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi continues with Wilson and Stewart. And since the oldest player Alyssa Thomas is 30, the dominance could last for years.
“It’s been an incredible journey to lay that foundation like the greats that came before us,” Wilson said. “Now it’s up to us to step up and be in that position.”
Hosts Australia, led by 41-year-old Lauren Jackson’s 30-pointers, defeated Canada 95–65 for the bronze.
As was the case throughout the tournament, the Americans won on both ends of the court, combining stellar defense with a high-powered offense.
The United States (8–0) finished with an average of 98.8 points, just short of the 1994 team record of 99.1. He averaged 40.8 points, surpassing the 2010 team record.
Around 16,000 fans attended, the largest number at a Women’s Basketball World Cup final since the initial tournament held in 1953 in Chile.
The Chinese, led by Li Yueru and Wu Tongtong, found themselves outmatched at every turn. They trailed 33–28 late in the second quarter, when the United States began a 10–2 run with quick layups by Stewart and Wilson to extend the lead to double digits.
Jin Vena extended the lead with a three-pointer seconds before the end of the first half.
In the third match, America defeated China 25-14. The Americans got a scare when Thomas collided with Lee and had to seek help, but returned to the game minutes later.
China won their first medal since the 1994 World Cup, when they also won silver, and is a rising force in women’s basketball. After the game, he posed with his flag and men’s basketball great Yao Ming, president of the Chinese Basketball Association.