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U.S. women coast to gold in basketball

Aug. 11, 2012 at 6:38 PM

LONDON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Candace Parker's 21 points and a smothering defensive effort Saturday brought the United States Olympic basketball gold in an 86-50 win over France.

The French had marched through group play unbeaten, but found it difficult to get off a shot against the Americans -- much less score.

The Americans held France to 18 field goals and to 28 percent shooting from the field. They turned the game into a rout by outscoring the French 26-12 in the third quarter.

It was the fifth consecutive gold medal for the American women and their seventh Olympic championship in the last eight Games. Their winning streak going into the Rio de Janeiro Olympics will be 41.

Every American player scored at least three points, but only Parker and Sue Bird reached double figures. Bird finished with 11.

The silver medal showing was the best ever for France.

Australia, which lost to France in group play, wound up with the bronze medal by defeating Russia 83-74 in the third-place game.

The Australians had lost to the United States in the gold medal game at each of the last three Olympics.

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