Basketball: US women continue Olympic dominance.

Updated: Monday, 19 Nov 2012 12:12

The United States women's team extended their own record as they won a fifth straight gold medal in a 86-50 rout against France.

Candace Parker dominated France inside, collecting 21 points and 11 rebounds, and capitalising on key mistakes as the Americans effectively wrapped up victory early in the third quarter.

The four golds the United States had won between 1996 and 2008 were already a record not only in basketball but in any women's team sport at the Olympics.

This was the Americans' 41st straight victory in Olympic competition.

That is a run that stretches back to the 1992 bronze medal game against Cuba.

The Americans have won seven out of the last eight golds in women's basketball, having only failed to triumph on three of the 10 times it has figured in the Games.

Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird all collected their third straight gold medal, and were greeted with a standing ovation from their team-mates when coach Geno Auriemma took them out of the game together inside the final two minutes.

France, playing in only their second Olympics and secure in the knowledge of at least silver, kept pace through the first quarter until the arrival into the game of Florence Lepron, who appeared panicked, committing three quick turnovers which the Americans took back for six points.

That helped to spark an 11-2 run that gave the United States a 22-15 lead early in the second quarter.

France did not go away as Sandrine Gruda hit a pair of free throws, then stole the ball from Taurasi to add a lay-up.

Les Bleus had a chance to cut the deficit to two following Celice Dumerc's steal, but Emilie Gomis missed her lay-up and Gruda could not make either of two follow-ups as France wasted valuable offensive rebounds.

For the Americans, Candace Parker was having no such trouble, turning three successive offensive rebounds into six points as the Americans pulled away to lead 37-25 at half-time.

The teams traded blows to start the second half but France were missing chances to close the gap as they struggled at the rim.

After Gruda could only split her free throws, Taurasi made a jump shot and Bird nailed a three to make it 50-32.

The game only got worse for France as Endene Miyem limped out late in the third quarter and the Americans kept the points coming in the midst of a 19-0 streak.

Parker made it a 20-point game, 52-32, and when Tina Charles split a pair of free throws late in the third quarter the gap hit 30.

Bird finished with 11 points for the United States, while Gruda and Edwige Lawson-Wade led France with 12 apiece.