RIO DE JANEIRO – Another game, another rout for the U.S. women’s basketball team. This time though, it wasn’t record setting.

Diana Taurasi scored 13 points and Elena Delle Donne added 12 to help the Americans beat Spain 103-63 on Monday in women’s group play.

The victory was the 43rd consecutive for the U.S. (2-0) in the Olympics. The contest was a rematch of the 2014 world championship gold medal game that the Americans won by 13. While this win didn’t come in the same record fashion the U.S. opened the Olympics with when it beat Senegal by 65 points, the Americans coasted after the first few minutes.

Spain (1-1) led 8-6 before the U.S. closed the quarter on a 23-6 burst. Once again first-time Olympian Delle Donne was in the middle of it. She had seven points, including a 3-pointer from the wing that made it 27-11 during the game-changing spurt. The Spaniards couldn’t get within single digits the rest of the way.

The U.S. was nowhere as crisp as it was in the opening rout of Senegal, and Spain had a lot to do with that.

Coach Geno Auriemma experimented with different lineups trying to come up with a combination that could execute. He put the four Minnesota Lynx players on the court together for the first time. Maya Moore had been in the starting group while Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles have been playing with the second unit. While the group couldn’t increase the lead much in their brief time playing together, it was surely a delight for Minnesota fans.


Spain fought to just to stay within 20 in the second quarter, thanks in part to the play of guard Leticia Romero, who stars at Florida State. The Olympic newcomer got her first playing time of the tournament and scored five straight points as Spain trailed 54-37 at the half. She finished with nine points.

Sue Bird wouldn’t let Spain get any closer. Playing in her fourth Olympics, Bird started the second half with a steal and then raced down the court for the layup. A few minutes later the lead was over 20 and the rout was on as Taurasi and Brittney Griner waved their arms to get a “USA” chant started. In Sunday’s win over Senegal, the crowd was behind the underdogs shouting down any American cheers. This time they wouldn’t be drowned out.

Alba Torrens, whom the Connecticut Sun have the rights to in the WNBA, led Spain with 20 points.

Spain missed the 2012 Olympics, but won the silver at the worlds. The Spaniards have never beaten the U.S. in a major competition, falling to 0-10 at the Olympics and world championships.

The U.S., which scored 100 or more points in consecutive games for the first time since the 2004 Olympics, next plays Serbia on Wednesday while Spain faces China.

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