Team USA showed no struggle in an 83-43 win over Team Canada.
Diana Taurasi finished with a game-high 14 points on three made shots from deep, Angel McCoughtry scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds and Elena Delle Donne scored 12 points.
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma opened with an all-Huskies starting lineup of Sue Bird, Taurasi, Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart and Tina Charles in front of a home court crowd in Bridgeport. That lineup established a defensive recipe for success as they held Team Canada to just six points in the first quarter with unrelenting perimeter pressure maintained through substitutions of an endless supply of All-Stars.
Delle Donne had a breakout first half with 10 points on five shots. Driving to the hoop and using her size to back down in the paint, the WNBA’s reigning MVP was the team’s top contributor in a 44-20 lead heading into the break.
Canada was only able to score five points in the third quarter as Taurasi and the Americans were able to tack on to the lead, heading into the final quarter up 40.
Lindsay Whalen helped close the game out attacking the hoop, finishing with 11 points, and McCoughtry made her case for more minutes with eight points and lockdown defense.
Team USA will take on Team Australia, its biggest threat for another gold, in its final exhibition game on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Elena Delle Donne had a breakout half
Delle Donne has admitted she’s felt nerves in her first Olympic run, but she finally looked comfortable against Canada. She had 10 points on five shots in the first half, looking comfortable weaving her way to the basket off the dribble and spinning through the paint. She finished with 12 points, two assists and two rebounds.
Good luck scoring against this team
The Americans allowed six points in the first quarter, 20 in the first half and five in the third quarter, without using back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year Brittney Griner much. The Canadians scored two field goals in the game’s opening 15 minutes in part due to poor shooting, but mostly because of the size and length of the Americans’ interchangeable bigs.
Diana Taurasi can shoot from anywhere
We know what’s coming, yet it’s amazing every time. Taurasi is the go-to with the shot clock running down, and this shot from deep reminded us why. She hit 3-of-7 and has thrived while not having to handle the ball as much, playing off Sue Bird.