=== American women cruise to gold in basketball ===
 London,  England (Sports  Network) -  For the  fifth consecutive  Olympics and
 seventh time in eight tries, the American women are gold medalists.
 Candace  Parker  led the charge  with 21 points, and  Team USA used a stifling
 defensive  strategy  to  run  France  off the  court  with  a  dominant  86-50
 With  male stars  like Kobe Bryant looking  on, the women put on a performance
 the men will hope to duplicate on Sunday against Spain. They held France to 30
 percent  shooting,  only 2-of-11  from three-point  range and  no more than 15
 points in any quarter.
 Conversely,  the United States' worst quarter was 17 points in the second, two
 more than France's most productive period of play.
 All  12 players on  Team USA had at least three points, though only Parker and
 Sue Bird were in double figures. Bird ended with 11 for the Americans, who won
 every game of this tournament by double digits.
 "This  team  was so talented  and so deep  and it really  felt like we had the
 shortest  training camp  of any  other Olympics  that I've  been in,"  Bird, a
 three-time gold medalist, said. "For us to put it together the way we did it's
 very, very gratifying."
 Sandrine  Gruda  and Edwige Lawson-Wade led  France with 12 points apiece, and
 the  French  captured  the  silver  medal in  their  best  women's  basketball
 performance to date.
 France kept up for a few minutes in the first quarter, holding a 13-11 lead on
 a Lawson-Wade three-pointer, but the Americans quickly went in front and never
 looked back.
 Team  USA  scored the next five  points, capped by a Lindsay Whalen fast-break
 basket  for a  three-point lead. The margin  stood at five after 10 minutes of
 play, but it only grew from there.
 Unlike  the Americans'  semifinal  matchup against  Australia,  which won  the
 bronze  medal earlier  Saturday  with a  victory over  Russia,  Team USA  made
 sure it didn't trail at halftime.
 France  again  stayed close  early on,  but the  Americans went  on a 9-0 run,
 capped  by a  Parker free throw, to open  a 37-23 lead with 52 seconds left in
 the  half. A couple  Lawson-Wade free throws cut France's deficit to 12 at the
 Like  they  did against  Australia, the  Americans turned it  on in the second
 half,  holding  France scoreless for a  nearly six-minute portion of the third
 while opening a 62-32 lead.
 "It's  great,  just to me  in the position  to win a  medal is awesome and the
 women that I got a chance to experience this with and win a gold medal is even
 better," said American Seimone Augustus.
 France  managed only 25  points in each half, and the Americans managed to win
 the fourth quarter by 10 although the outcome was never in doubt.
 08/11 21:22:10 ET

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