BEIJING, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Kara Lawson keyed a surge to end the first period Saturday and ignited the United States to a 92-65 win over Australia for the Olympic basketball gold medal.
The American women won the basketball tournament for the fourth straight Olympics and concluded a successful run in female team sports.
Australia held a three-point lead with 3:28 to play in the opening quarter, but Lawson scored six points and had an assist during a 12-2 spurt that closed the period.
That gave the United States a 22-15 lead which grew to a 17-point advantage by halftime.
Lawson made all of her five attempts from the field and was perfect on four free throws for 15 points. Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker both had 14 for the Americans. Australia was led by 20 from Lauren Jackson.
The Americans have not lost a women's basketball game in the Olympics since 1992, when they settled for the bronze medal.
Russia defeated China 94-81 for the bronze.
United States women qualified for the final in five of the seven Olympic team sports, missing out only in field hockey and team handball (where the Americans did not participate).
They won in soccer and basketball and lost in the gold medal games of softball, water polo and volleyball. In addition, the duo of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor won gold in beach volleyball.