Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Team USA defeated Australia in Olympic women's basketball quarterfinal play on Wednesday, edging closer to winning a seventh consecutive gold medal in the sport.
The USA women's basketball team overwhelmed Australia 79-55 at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, looking for the first time at these Games like the juggernaut they were expected to be.
Despite winning every game in Tokyo so far, the Americans had not yet shown the kind of dominance that has led them to 53 straight wins, including Wednesday's contest.
Breanna Stewart, 26, led the Americans with 23 points in a game where they held the lead for more than 37 minutes. Leilani Mitchell of Australia netted a team-high 14 points.
The first quarter saw Australia taking their only lead within the first 90 seconds of play, which the Americans quickly erased with a 17-point run to go up 21-6 with four minutes left in the quarter. Team USA closed out the first up 26-12.
In the second quarter, Australia closed the gap to 10 points within the first three minutes but the Americans continued to use their size and strength to build a 21-point lead, entering the half at 48-27.
The Americans continued their pressure in the third, scoring at will and shutting down Australia on the defensive end. Over the final five minutes of the quarter, Team USA denied the Aussies a single basket while netting eight points for a score of 68-39 to go into the final 10 minutes.
After cruising to the 79-55 win, Team USA will face Serbia Friday in semifinal play.