By Steve Keating
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 17 : The United States steamrolled to their 47th straight Olympic win routing Japan 110-64 on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals of the women’s basketball tournament and a step closer to a sixth consecutive gold medal.
With an overall record of 64-3, Olympic losses are rare for the US but Japan could lay claim to one of them.
History, however, was of little help to the 16th-ranked Japanese who were going up against a powerhouse that has outscored opponents by a staggering 44.6 points per game, on average, in Rio.
It took the Americans nearly a full half to get their bearings, but once they did the result was predictable as US shooters found their range, pouring in over 100 points for the fifth time in six games.
With two minutes to go in the opening half, energetic Japan had cut the Olympic champions’ lead to 46-44 but the US finished with a flurry, going on a 10-2 run to ease into the second half with a 10-point lead that would only grow.
The US will now await the winner of Canada and France, who play later on Tuesday while the other semi-final will feature Serbia and Spain.
Serbia had earlier upset second-ranked Australia 73-71 while Anna Cruz hit a last gasp buzzer beater to lift Spain over Turkey 64-62.