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USA Women’s Basketball reaches semifinals in blowout of Australia

The Americans ran out to a 14-point lead after one quarter and never looked back.

United States forward Breanna Stewart shoots the ball against Japan power forward Monica Okoye in women’s basketball Group B play during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena. Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Team USA women’s basketball ran away and hid against an outmatched Australia team in a 79-55 quarterfinal win on Wednesday at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Breanna Stewart of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm showed why she’s the best women’s player in the world, leading all scorers with 23 points on 8-10 shooting and five rebounds in just 23 minutes of action. Brittney Griner added 15 points on 6/8 shooting with eight rebounds, and ageless 40-year-old Sue Bird added nine points and five assists.

While Australia did beat the USA 70-67 three weeks ago in an exhibition game before both teams left for Tokyo, the talent gap and improved execution showed the Americans just needed time to gel. All 13 players got on the floor for the Dawn Staley’s team, holding the Opals to just 21/70 from the field while forcing 21 turnovers. It was the 54th straight win for the USA in Olympic action.

With the win the USA takes on Serbia on Friday at 12:40 a.m. ET in the semifinals. Serbia knocked off 77-70 in earlier action.