Five straight gold medals, seven over all. A 41-game winning streak. A 58-3 record.
Those are a few of the statistics that sum up the United States women’s national basketball team’s dominance in Olympic competition. And for the other top teams in the world, it is a mastery they will have to overcome in their own quests for a gold medal.
“We know they’re the best, and we know that we have to put it all out there on the floor,” the Australian guard Penny Taylor said.
In the past week, the United States team, plus the Australian, Canadian and French teams, played a series of exhibition games before heading to the Rio Olympics. The series, the U.S.A. Basketball Showcase, ended Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Canada defeated France, 71-63, in the first game of the afternoon before the top two teams in the FIBA world rankings — the United States and Australia — battled in the finale. The United States won, 104-89.
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