Both United States Olympic basketball teams posted blowout victories yesterday in Rio to move to 2-0 in the preliminary rounds of their respective tournaments.
The women beat Spain 103-63 behind, well, everybody. Diana Taurasi led the U.S. scorers with 13 points, but they had five in double figures and nobody played more than Taurasi’s 24 minutes. Sylvia Fowles scored 12 in 13 minutes off the bench. The other Lynx on the squad also contributed: Maya Moore had 8-5-4 in 21 minutes, while Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen each scored six off the bench. For Spain, old friend Anna Cruz started and led the team with 29 minutes, but had a rough night, with only two points on 1-7 shooting.
It’s hard to see the women being challenged in this tournament. They have the most talent and deepest roster by a large margin.
The men got off to a slow start, finishing the first quarter tied 18-18 with Venezuela. They promptly turned on the defensive pressure and blew the game open in the 2nd, outscoring the Venezuelans 30-8 and cruising to a 113-69 win. The U.S. adjusted to the physicality and wound up forcing 18 turnovers and holding Venezuela to 34% shooting and taking advantage at the free throw line with 38 attempts.
Carmelo Anthony scored 14 points and moved past Michael Jordan into 3rd in U.S. Olympic men’s basketball all-time scoring. He is likely to be number one by the end of this tournament, and will almost certainly have another gold medal.
Elsewhere in men’s action, Australia continues to look impressive, beating Serbia by 15 to back up their big win against France in the opener. Their back court of Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills combined for 49 points and are looking outstanding in Olympic play so far.
The U.S. women’s soccer team finishes group play today at 5 pm CDT against Colombia. They are in control of their group after their win against rival France in the last game.
Today in history
48 BC: Julius Caesar decisively beats Pompey at Battle of Pharsalus: Pompey flees to Egypt
1173: Construction begins on Tower of Pisa
1483: Sistine Chapel opens at Vatican
1638: Jonas Bronck becomes 1st European settler of the Bronx; promptly complains about subway service.
1655: Oliver Cromwell divides England into 11 districts
1810: Napoleon annexes Westphalia
1815: Five years later, he sets sail for exile on St. Helena
1831: First U.S. steam train run in upstate New York
1854: Thoreau publishes Walden.
1902: Edward VII crowned king following his mother Queen Victoria
1936: Jesse Owens with 4th Olympic gold medal in Berlin
1945: U.S. drops 2nd atomic bomb on Nagasaki
1961: James Parsons is first African-American appointed to federal bench
1974: Richard Nixon resigns
Today’s musical birthday is Whitney Houston, born in 1963 (d. 2012)