The USA Basketball women’s team looks to continue their winning ways, as they take on their Spanish counterparts on Monday. The showdown between the powerhouse nations will take place at Youth Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Team USA and Spain belong in Group B of the 2016 Olympic women’s basketball tournament. They are joined by four other national squads — Canada, China, Senegal and Serbia. Team USA, Spain and Canada notched victories in their opening day assignments while China, Senegal and Serbia started the tournament with a loss.
Diana Taurasi led the Americans to a lopsided 121-56 win over Senegal on Sunday. The Phoenix Mercury guard finished the game with 15 points, three assists and two rebounds. Fatou Dieng was the top scorer and playmaker for Senegal with 10 points and four assists, per FIBA.com.
The matchup that came after was a more competitive affair. Spain barely edged out Serbia in a 65-59 thriller. Serbia’s Jelena Milovanovic led all scorers with 17 points, but that wasn’t enough to offset Spain’s well-rounded offense. San Antonio Stars center Astou Ndour was a beast on the boards. She racked up 12 rebounds to go along with 11 points, a steal and a block.
Team USA and Spain will clash at exactly 12 noon local time in Rio on August 8. The match will be shown live on NBCSN and streamed on NBCOlympics.com at 11:00 a.m. ET in the United States.
The Spaniards will have a lot on their plate, as they will battle a team who won five straight gold medals in a row. Team USA stalwarts Taurasi, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles will be joined by Olympic newbies Breanna Stewart, Brittney Griner and Elena Delle Donne.
“Training time is always our biggest challenge,” Sue Bird told Oregon Live. “When you get to the medal rounds it’s one and done, but we have a lot of experience in those games and look to continue our recent success.”
Lucas Mondelo and the Spanish side will rely on seasoned veterans Alba Torrens, Laia Palau and Lucila Pascua. Astou Ndour will be a force to be reckoned with in the low post.